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Wigwe: Witness Reports Suggest It Was Raining When Crash Occurred — US Authorities

United States authorities say that witness reports suggest it was raining when a copter crashed in California near the Nevada border on Friday, killing the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe, his wife, son; as well as a former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group, Abimbola Ogunbanjo.

“Witness reports to the weather condition at the time of the accident suggest rain and a wintry mix,” said National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member, Michael Graham, at a briefing on Sunday.

Two crew members also died in the crash, Graham said, adding that officials were at the scene to gather perishable evidence.

“The team methodically and systematically reviews all evidence and considers all potential factors to determine the probable cause of the crash,” he said.

“The crew consisted of a pilot in command and a safety pilot. The accident flight was operated by Orbic Air LLC as a Part 135 charter flight.

According to Graham, there were no details on the passengers that boarded the aircraft. He said that “any names will be released through the coroner’s office,” without specifying a time frame.

The NTSB official said the Board would look into the chopper’s airworthiness; maintenance and structure of the helicopter, operations, meteorology, and air traffic control, according to Graham.

“Parties to the investigation include the FAA and Orbic Air LLC. As the investigation continues, other parties could be named.

Meanwhile, tributes have been pouring in over the death of the six persons.

Prominent Nigerians including ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Femi Otedola, ministers and governors, amongst others, have paid tributes to the deceased persons.

Wigwe, the founder of Wigwe University in Rivers State which is expected to be launched later in the year, once described himself as fearless.

“I will tell you something about being fearless, that powerful state of mind where you refuse to be constrained by the consciousness of your limitations, where you face your challenges as an adventurous quest, focusing on the joys of winning rather than the fear of losing,” he said.

“Many years ago, I could not have foreseen the great future that is now Access
Corporation but education from formal institutions and from the University of Life instilled in me all that was required.

“Each rung up the ladder of success with its mistakes and joys and sometimes pain unpacked life lessons that have shown me why and how to impact lives and generations.

“I’m a man on the quest to touch lives and rewrite the history of Nigeria and Africa. The end is nowhere in sight for our growth and improvement. There is so much more to conquer as Nelson Mandela once said: courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. And this is true. My name is Herbert Wigwe and I am fearless.”

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