'Overwhelming Tragedy': Nigerian Bank CEO, Wife and Son Among 6 Killed in California Helicopter Crash

The helicopter went down Saturday night approximately a quarter mile east of Interstate 15 with six people inside, according to the local sheriff's department Six people, including the CEO of a Nigerian bank, his wife and son, were killed in a helicopter crash in California on Friday

Published Time: 12.02.2024 - 21:31:05 Modified Time: 12.02.2024 - 21:31:05

The helicopter went down Saturday night approximately a quarter mile east of Interstate 15 with six people inside, according to the local sheriff's department

Six people, including the CEO of a Nigerian bank, his wife and son, were killed in a helicopter crash in California on Friday.

The helicopter went down approximately a quarter mile east of Interstate 15 near Halloran Springs Road with six people inside, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

All six people aboard the aircraft died as a result of the crash, the SBSD said.

Among those killed was Herbert Wigwe, Group CEO of Access Bank, and Bimbo Ogunbanjo, former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, according to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the director general of the World Trade Organization.

Wigwe’s wife and son were also on the helicopter that went down, Okonjo-Iweala added.

The Access Corporation confirmed Wigwe’s death a short time later. They described Wigwe as “a visionary leader” whose “passion and unwavering commitment to excellence transformed Access into a global powerhouse.”

“His legacy of excellence and compassion will continue to inspire us all,” they added. -

 

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National Transportation Safety Board member Michael Graham said the chartered helicopter was flying from Palm Springs, Calif., to Boulder City, Nev., just outside of Las Vegas, according to CNN and USA Today.

The flight took off around 8:45 p.m. local time before going down more than an hour later after 10 p.m., Graham said.

Nigeria President Bola Ahmed Tinubu offered his condolences to “Wigwe and Ogunbanjo families, the business community, and all those impacted by this harrowing incident” in a post shared Saturday on X.

In his statement, Tinubu described Wigwe as “a distinguished banker, humanitarian, and entrepreneur.” 

“I pray for the peaceful repose of the departed and ask God Almighty to comfort the multitude of Nigerians who are grieving and the families of the deceased at this deeply agonizing moment,” the president said.

He added, “Their passing is an overwhelming tragedy that is shocking beyond comprehension.”

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