4 Americans, pilot killed in Kenya helicopter crash

2019-03-05 09:21

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A prominent Colorado political consultant and two entrepreneurs from California were among four Americans and a local pilot killed when their helicopter crashed at a national park in Kenya, authorities and family members said on Monday.

Colorado lawmakers paused for a moment of silence at the state Capitol in Denver to remember Kyle Forti, who died in the crash on Sunday night at an island on Kenya's Lake Turkana.

Family and friends remembered Forti as an adventurer and loving husband and father, who made friends of all political stripes during several years of work as a Republican communications consultant.

Forti's brother, Josh Forti, said the 29-year-old is the oldest of eight siblings. Forti loved to travel and was visiting friends in Kenya when he died, Josh Forti said.

"Kyle is known for being someone of integrity, someone who searched for truth, provided love and brought people together," Josh Forti said. "Right now we're grieving. But we trust God and trust that God's in control here. We know Kyle is in paradise."

The family does not have much information about the incident beyond what has been publicly released, Josh Forti said.

The crash occurred in Central Island National Park as two helicopters took off after a visit to the Lobolo tented camp, according to an internal police report obtained by The Associated Press.

One helicopter lost contact and crashed soon after take-off around 20:30, Kenya's Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement. A search and rescue mission found the wreckage shortly after 03:00 on Monday, the agency said. The cause of the crash was under investigation.

The US Embassy confirmed the deaths of the four Americans and the names of three of them: Forti, Anders Asher Jesiah Burke and Brandon Howe Stapper.

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Read more on:    kenya  |  east africa  |  air travel

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