EAST RIVER, NEW YORK (March 11, 2018) – Tristan was one among four of the passengers who was killed that fateful day the chopper crashed. (map)
Tragedy fell on the five passengers boarded the Liberty helicopter Sunday evening. The Eurocopter AS350 was a private charter, bound for a photo shoot that was intended to be a quick 11-minute ride. The pilot frantically radioed in for help as soon as the chopper began to plummet down, crashing into the East River. It is suspected that one of the passenger’s personal bags got caught on the emergency fuel button and caused the chopper’s engine to fail. The pilot of the chopper, Richard Vance, 33, was miraculously able to escape from his harness in this ill-fated situation, but the rest of the passengers remained trapped upside down under water in their harnesses.
Tristan Hill was an employee of Liberty Helicopters, one of the two passengers that was giving a tour to the chopper’s passengers. Hill, twenty-nine-years-old, worked for the Westchester Knicks and was only months away from his wedding. He was to marry Eda Ozmen on Memorial Day, with a guest list of 350 people expected to attend the beautiful event. Hill was born in Singapore and had a strong passion for basketball since his early years. He graduated from Galena High School and played for Missouri Valley College. Hill also worked as a basketball operations assistant for the Knick’s D-League affiliate in Westchester in the 2015-2016 season, and was responsible for organizing the basketball camp that year for 120 children, located in Reno.
Initial reports state that one of the pontoons failed to inflate when the chopper crash landed into the icy waters. It is unclear whether they were functioning properly before the Liberty Helicopter initially took off.
The cause of the accident remains under open investigation at this time to determine cause and liability. However, the New York helicopter company has had a history of accidents prior to Sunday’s tragic incident. This is the third fatal crash from Liberty Helicopters within the past eleven years, where a total of 14 people have been killed now. The investigation on Sunday’s incident is ongoing, and Lexton Law is still receiving updates at this time. We will update this article accordingly.
“Sadly, there are no words that can comfort all family members and friends affected by this tragic accident,” said the attorneys from Lexton Law. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those involved.”