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Author Topic: NZer injured, loses partner, in chopper crash  (Read 54 times)

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Offline Daily News

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NZer injured, loses partner, in chopper crash
« on: 05 Oct 11, 10:49:pm »
A New Zealand woman has lost her partner in a New York helicopter crash, which has also left her fighting for her own life.

US media are reporting one person was killed, and three others were injured when the helicopter crashed into the East River after taking off from a launch pad on the riverbank.

The woman who was killed was Sonia Marra Nicholson, a British-born Sydney woman who was celebrating her 40th birthday with her New Zealand partner Helen Tamaki, her mother Harriet Nicholson and her stepfather Paul Nicholson.

A spokesman for the New York Police Department has told media: "Two females are in an extremely critical condition at Bellevue Hospital and one male is in a serious but stable condition at NYU Hospital."

The American pilot, Paul Dudley, did not need hospital treatment. reports Sonia Marra Nicholson was the previous owner of Newtown’s Madame Fling Flong and Soni’s restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Newtown.

Offline Daily News

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Re: NZer injured, loses partner, in chopper crash
« Reply #1 on: 07 Oct 11, 03:29:pm »
A New Zealand woman who lost her partner of more than a decade in a New York helicopter crash remains in a coma in hospital.

Sydneysider Helen Tamaki, who is originally from Wellington, was pulled from the water after the crash which killed her British partner Sonia Marra. Tamaki is in an induced coma and in critical condition.

Family members have flown to New York to be by her side and her Wellington-based sister Suzanne Tamaki has thanked people for their positive messages on her Facebook page.

"She is getting the best medical care possible, so along with your prayers and love this will be helping her heal."

Tamaki bought the helicopter ride as present for her partner's 40th birthday. The couple had reportedly been together for 15 years.

Marra's mother is also critically injured after the crash, while her stepfather escaped with just minor injuries when the chopper plunged into the East River shortly after take off.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says an examination of the wreckage has found no sign of a rupture in the helicopter's engine case or metal particles inside that could have indicated damage.

Investigators are now looking at the flight experience of pilot Paul Dudley, who was a close friend of the couple, along with his pre-flight training, safety briefings, the flight information, his takeoff sequence, his personal pilot log, his certifications, and aircraft records. The weight on the helicopter is also being investigated.