6 dead, including CEO of Nigerian bank and his family, in helicopter crash in California

(PALM SPRINGS, CA) — A helicopter carrying six people, including the CEO of a Nigerian bank, crashed in California’s Mojave Desert, killing all people on board, officials said.

The two crew members and four passengers departed from Palm Springs, California, at 8:45 p.m. Friday and were en route to Boulder City, Nevada, about 26 miles outside of Las Vegas, officials said.

On board was Access Bank CEO Herbert Wigwe, his wife and his son, said Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the director-general of the World Trade Organization and former finance minister of Nigeria.

Terribly saddened by the news of the terrible loss of Herbert Wigwe , Group CEO Access Bank @HerbertOWigwe , his wife and son as well as Bimbo Ogunbanjo in a helicopter crash. My deepest sympathies and condolences to the Wigwe family, the Ogunbanjo family, Access Bank Group…

— Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (@NOIweala) February 10, 2024

Today, we say goodbye to a visionary leader, whose passion, excellence, and unwavering commitment transformed Access into a global powerhouse.

His legacy of excellence and compassion will continue to inspire us all.

Rest in peace, Herbert Wigwe. pic.twitter.com/Od3LQJAaSy

— Herbert Wigwe, C.F.R (@HerbertOWigwe) February 11, 2024

A meteorologist was working to analyze exact weather conditions to confirm local witness reports of rain and a “wintery mix” including snow, Michael Graham, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, told reporters Saturday.

The Eurocopter EC-130 helicopter didn’t have a cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder, nor was it required to, according to Graham.

The NTSB said an investigation was underway.

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