Tributes pour in for SA man who died in hot air balloon crash

2018-01-06 17:31
The balloon after the crash. (Stringer, AFP)

The balloon after the crash. (Stringer, AFP)

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Pretoria – Tributes are pouring in for a South African man who died when a hot air balloon crashed in Egypt on Friday.

D Jay Wiggill was one of three South Africans who were aboard the hot air balloon, which crashed in Luxor. Another seven tourists were injured, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) confirmed on Friday.

The two other South Africans - both 24-year-old women – were injured, but were said to be in a stable condition, Dirco said.

There were 16 people on the sunrise balloon trip. They are from Australia, France, Argentina and Brazil, a statement from the Egyptian embassy in Pretoria said.

"[The pilot] tried to land and unfortunately because of the strong winds he crashed to the ground," it added.

Four detained

Egyptian prosecutors ordered the detention of four people over the crash, AP reported. They are the balloon's pilot, the director of the airport from which it took off and two officials from the balloon-owning company. They were detained for four days pending an investigation.

People who knew D Jay Wiggill have expressed their shock at his untimely death.  

His family, friends and colleagues posted moving tributes and their fond memories of Wiggill on Facebook as soon as news of his death broke.

His wife Vicki Wiggil wrote: "Our last selfie together. We were always so bad at them but i'd give anything for a chance to go back to that moment and tell you how much I love you D Jay Wiggill. D Jay Wiggill. You were my best friend, my puzzle piece, my better half, the love of my life and my chicken pie. I will love you eternally. Rest in peace my angel."

Also read: Pilot 'lost control over mountainous region'

Vanessa Tavares Marinho posted: "My sincerest condolences for your loss Vicki. I may not know you personally however you are in my thoughts and prayers. Darr was a genuine soul that brought so much happiness to many lives! May he rest in peace. Sending blessings and strength your way ."  

Connie Gouzos wrote: "Sending you my deepest condolences I am so sorry for your loss Vicki."

Dorothy Bristow wrote: "What a lovely person gone so soon it was my pleasure knowing you and working with at autozone (sic) R.I.P dear friend think of your family and your wife the lord add a another star in the sky all our love peter and dot (sic)."

Richard Phakiso Makwela wrote: "Mr Wiggins, DJW, the real life Batman from upper bedfordview (sic) ???? I find myself back in the merchandise department at IC hearing about the accident in Durban & looking to the left of me were you sat & crying grasping at pieces of information trying to ascertain what just happened, calling your phone to make sense of things."I just don't understand ???? I spoke to you a couple of days ago. How, Why, what! I don't understand. Broken! I will always remember your awesomeness, your spirit to make life fun, those memes, the madness & how you genuinely were a great contribution to the human family. Rest Easy Bruv. Thank you for being an awesome BEING."

Cindy Pamela Carrick posted: "D Jay you were always quick with a smile and a quip. Thank you for the laughter, the banter and the memories. Thank you for making Vicki so happy. You will be eternally missed. RIP."

Read more on:    egypt  |  accidents

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