Kauai police finalize helicopter crash recovery efforts

Local News

Photo: NTSB

UPDATE 1/2/20: NTSB has announced that investigators have started the recovery process. They are preparing to move the wreckage to a secure location for further examination.

The Kaua‘i Police Department is finalizing its efforts to recover the last remains and personal effects of the pilot and passengers aboard the helicopter that crashed on Dec. 26 in Kōkeʽe.

“We have recovered as much as we can from the site so that families can hopefully find some sense of closure,” said KPD Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce. “We ask that the public please continue to remember those who have just lost their loved ones and to remain sensitive while they grieve their loss. Again, our deepest, heartfelt condolences go out to everyone who was touched by this tragedy.”

Due to the nature of the crash and impact damage, Kaua‘i police have confirmed that there are no survivors. According to a preliminary report from a flight manifest, Kaua‘i police believe that four of the six passengers were a family from Switzerland  ̶  50-year-old Sylvie Winteregg, 49-year-old Christophe Winteregg, 13-year-old Alice Winteregg and 10-year-old Agathe Winteregg.

From the same flight manifest, Kaua‘i police have already identified the pilot to be 69-year-old Paul Matero of Wailua and two of the other passengers to be 47-year-old Amy Gannon and 13-year-old Jocelyn Gannon of Madison, Wisconsin.

“I want to commend the Kaua‘i Fire Department’s Battalion Chiefs, rescue personnel, drone team and Air 1 pilots, as well as our KPD team, for their hard work and willingness to risk their lives during this recovery process,” said Kaua‘i Police Chief Todd G. Raybuck. “I cannot put into words just how remote and steep the terrain is where this tragic incident occurred but everyone has been working together nonstop, especially in hopes of attempting to provide some semblance of closure for the families.”

A team from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived on island earlier this week and will be taking the lead on the investigation.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.