Helicopter man killed in crash was new dad
The man killed in a helicopter crash near the Lindis Pass has left behind a wife and five-weekold son.
Liam Edwards, 32, originally from Tokoroa, was killed when the helicopter he was in came down in foggy conditions at about 11am on Saturday.
The helicopter’s pilot, Murray Sarginson, 51, was flown to Dunedin Hospital in a critical condition with head and chest injuries. Edwards was found dead at the scene.
His devastated wife, Jaimee Edwards, said that the pair, who celebrated their first wedding anniversary in February, had welcomed son Alex just five weeks ago.
Edwards grew up in Tokoroa in the Waikato and graduated from Forest View High School.
An old friend from high school, who did not wish to be named, remembered him as a class clown who was well known for the blue Cortina that he drove and the time he showed up at the school ball driving a tractor.
Edwards left Tokoroa when he was in his mid-20s.
A friend of Edwards posted on social media that he was ‘‘absolutely gutted’’ to hear his ‘‘true great mate’’ had died, while another commented that Edwards was a ‘‘true gentleman’’.
The helicopter, a Robinson R22, was believed to be owned by Aurum Helicopters, a cropspraying company based in Cromwell.
Aurum Helicopters chief executive Ben Sarginson said the trip had been a private flight.
He confirmed that Murray Sarginson was a family member, but declined to give any further details.
Sarginson was said to be ‘‘progressing favourably’’ and his family were in Dunedin to be with him.
Sarginson’s cousin, Don Sarginson, said he was unsure what the purpose of the flight had been.
Police and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have launched an investigation following the incident.
The accident site was about one kilometre from the Lindis Pass Road, he said.
Liam Edwards, 32, originally from Tokoroa, was killed in a helicopter crash near the Lindis Pass.