Chopper Crash: 'She Got to Practice Nursing for One Day'

Investigation underway in Bahamas crash that killed billionaire Chris Cline, 6 others
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2019 12:26 PM CDT
Medical Emergency May Have Prompted Fatal Chopper Flight
In this photo made available by the Bahamas Air Accident Investigation Department, the wreckage of a Augusta SPA helicopter is recovered off the coast of Grand Cay, in the Abacos, Bahamas.   (Bahamas Air Accident Investigation Department via AP)

There's still no word on what caused the helicopter crash in the Bahamas that killed coal magnate Chris Cline and six other people. But the National Transportation Safety Board says the wreckage has been moved to the US, and a preliminary report should be out in about two weeks, reports the AP. A more thorough investigation could take two years. The chopper crashed into the ocean about 2am Thursday shortly after taking off from the private island of Grand Cay. Details and developments:

  • The victims: The crash killed Cline, 60, and his daughter Kameron Cline, 22, along with her friends Brittany Layne Searson, 21; Jillian Clark; and Delaney Lee Wykle, 22. The two others aboard were Geoffrey Painter, 52, and David Jude, 56, reports People. Painter was reportedly the pilot, and Jude was his co-owner in an aviation company, reports Forbes.
  • Medical emergency: It's not clear why the helicopter was making such a late trip, but WPBF reports that it may have been because of an unspecified medical emergency involving Kameron Cline. The helicopter was en route to Fort Lauderdale, according to the station. The Palm Beach Post also reported that one member of the group was sick.

  • Best friends: Clark, Searson, and Kameron Cline were 2019 graduates of LSU, where they were sorority sisters. Searson and Kameron were described as particularly close when they attended the Benjamin School together before going to LSU, reports CBS 12. "Both were inseparable, just terrific," says a former teacher there. "They were very good students, cheerful and lit up the room."
  • New nurse: Wykle didn't go to LSU, but she had been friends with Kameron Cline since childhood. Wykle graduated from West Virginia University and had passed her nursing board exam on Tuesday, two days before the crash, reports the AP. "She was going to start work in August and we told her, 'This is your last chance to go before you become a grown-up,'" says her mother, Paula Wykle. She adds that her daughter was helping the sick member of the party before the crash. "She got to practice nursing for one day."
  • The aircraft: It was a 15-passenger Augusta AW139. The chopper took off without a flight plan, per Forbes.
(More Chris Cline stories.)

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