2 Brothers and Girlfriend Killed in Grand Canyon Helicopter Crash: 'We Are Absolutely Devastated'
Two brothers and the girlfriend of one of the men have been identified as the British tourists who lost their lives in a helicopter crash over the weekend in the Grand Canyon.
Becky Dobson, 27, her boyfriend Stuart Hill, 30 and his brother Jason Hill, 32, were killed when the Papillon Airways EC130 they were flying in crashed under unknown circumstances near Quartermaster Canyon on the Hualapai Reservation Saturday, police said.
The pilot, 42-year-old Scott Booth, and passengers Ellie Milward, 29, her husband Jonathan Udall, 32, and their friend and Jason Hill’s girlfriend, Jennifer Barham, 39, survived the crash but were critically injured, according to authorities.
They were airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas early Sunday morning, about eight hours after the crash occurred.
Hualapai Nation Police Chief Francis Bradley said high winds, darkness and extremely rugged terrain surrounding the crash site made recovery efforts difficult.
“We all extend our condolences to all the family, friends and relatives of this crash,” he said Sunday. “It’s a very tragic incident and I would like to personally commend all the first responders who were involved in this rescue effort and recovery operation.”
The six passengers had reportedly traveled to the United States to celebrate Stuart Hill’s 30th birthday.
The Hill brothers spent a year saving for the trip, their father told the London Evening Standard.
The two brothers loved each other and were very close, and so our misfortune is their support — because they went together, and I will thank God every day for them,” their father, Reverend David Hill, told the Evening Standard. “They were incredibly close and as parents we feel blessed to have had them, but a light has truly gone out... We are absolutely devastated.”
Stuart Hill worked as a Mercedes salesman, while his older brother, Jason was a corporate senior associate for the law firm, Shoosmiths.
“The boys were so close, they were born 22 months apart and were like twins,” their father, a hospital chaplain, told Caters News. "They were just inseparable.”
Stuart Hill’s girlfriend, Becky Dobson, worked as a receptionist at a veterinary office.
On the office’s website, Dobson said she loved to spend time with her horse, Buddy, and see friends and family.
“I also love to travel the world,” she wrote.
Dobson, who spent time in Australia working as an au pair, shared photos on Facebook of her time spent abroad, writing: “To travel is to live.”
Crash survivors Ellie Milward and Jonathan Udall were on their honeymoon with friends. Caters
Newlyweds Ellie Milward and Jonathan Udall survived the crash, as did Jennifer Barham, Jason Hill’s girlfriend.
Milward and Udall were married in November and the trip to the U.S. was part of their honeymoon, loved ones said.
Jonathan Udall and Ellie Milward at their wedding with Becky Dobson and Stuart Hill. Caters
“We have spoken to the hospital and they are in a critical condition but they told us they are currently stable,” Udall’s father, Philip, told Caters. “The information is currently quite sketchy but we know that other families will be suffering a lot worse than us at the moment. Others were not so lucky.”