Kenny Chesney is reeling from the pain of losing a close friend who died in a horrid helicopter crash on the island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.
Chesney’s friend Maria Rodriguez was among four people who perished in the chopper crash in the Botany Bay area Monday afternoon February 15th.
Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency released a statement at 6:45pm saying only that the crash had taken place at approximately 3pm.
The island’s authorities further revealed that three people and the pilot were aboard the craft when it left the Cyril E. King Airport Monday afternoon for the short trip to the western end of St. Thomas.
Fire Service Director Daryl George Sr said late Monday night the crash happened in a heavily wooded area. First responders, were able to find the crash site and quickly extinguish the fire. However, he said, due to the dense bush and quickly darkening conditions, the search would continue on Tuesday morning.
The identifies of the four who died in the crash was ultimately revealed on Tuesday. A family of three perished alongside the pilot Chesney’s friend Maria Rodriguez.
The three were a business owner, his wife and son – who were on a sightseeing trip. Rodriguez was the owner of St. Thomas helicopter company in the Virgin Islands.
Authorities in the Virgin Islands are yet to establish the cause of the fatal helicopter crash that took the lives of the three occupants.
Kenny Chesney confirmed Rodriguez’s demise in a tear-jerking tribute to the departed pilot friend on his Instagram account. He wrote;
“Today I have to say a very hard goodbye to my friend Maria Rodriguez in the Virgin Islands. Maria and others were killed today in a helicopter crash in St. Thomas. She was a dear friend to me and to our island community. I have been flying with Maria for over 15 years and we shared a lot of laughs and a lot of life together. She was always the first person I saw when I landed and the last person I said goodbye to when I would leave island.
“I’m sure going to miss that. It’s fair to say I won’t ever be able to go to the Virgin Islands again without feeling the loss of her. She was such a huge part of my island life. So goodbye sweet friend. I’m sure glad our paths crossed on this side. See you on the other.”