uggs outlet Clues sought in NM copter crash that killed Zimbabwean leader
This frame from video provided by KOAT TV shows the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed in a mountainous rural area of northern New Mexico, killing five people and seriously injuring the sixth person aboard, a New Mexico State Police spokeswoman said Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (KOAT TV via AP)This frame from video provided by KOAT TV shows the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed in a mountainous rural area of northern New Mexico, killing five people and seriously injuring the sixth person aboard, a New Mexico State Police spokeswoman said Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (KOAT TV via AP)
Investigators will comb through the charred wreckage in search for clues as to why the helicopter carrying the group of prominent friends went down after dark Wednesday.
Friends and family members confirmed Thursday that Zimbabwe opposition leader Roy Bennett and his wife, Heather, had traveled to New Mexico to spend their holiday with friend and wealthy businessman Charles Burnett III at his ranch. Burnett friends, pilot Jamie Coleman Dodd of Colorado and co pilot Paul Cobb of Texas, were ferrying the group aboard a Huey UH 1 when it went down.
Despite frigid temperatures that evening, the weather appeared to be clear and the wind was mild as they headed east over a rugged area toward Burnett ranch.
The only survivor was Andra Cobb, the co pilot daughter and Burnett long term partner. She was able to escape before the helicopter burst into flames.
Her voice breaking, Martha Cobb told The Associated Press that her 39 year old daughter was hospitalized with broken bones.
just very distraught, the mother said in a telephone interview. just glad my daughter is OK, but I hate that my husband of 41 years is gone. Cobbs and Bennetts had become friends while traveling on cruises.
Roy Bennett, 60, treasurer general of Morgan Tsvangirai Movement for Democratic Change opposition party, won a devoted following of black Zimbabweans for passionately advocating political change. A white man who spoke fluent Shona, he drew the wrath of former President Robert Mugabe.
Bennett survived a traumatic year in jail and death threats over his work. He was known as meaning of us in Shona and was often called the sharpest thorn in Mugabe side.
Obert Gutu, spokesman for the MDC T party, described Bennett death as a and tragic loss. in England, Burnett was an investor and philanthropist with links to a wide range of businesses and a love of entertaining friends extravagantly. In 2009, he drove a steam powered car at an average speed of 139.8 miles per hour (225 kilometers per hour) to set a world record, The Guardian newspaper reported.
was friends with both pilots, according to his personal attorney, Martyn Hill. Both Dodd and Cobb were experienced aviators who would not have taken unnecessary risks in the helicopter, Hill said. and served as a police officer for three decades in the Houston suburb of Pasadena, Texas, before becoming police chief, his wife said.
Dodd was a decorated search and rescue pilot who helped stranded residents in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. During his time in the military, he flew medical evacuation missions in Central and South America and was inducted in 2010 into the Hall of Fame at the New Mexico Military Institute, where he had gone to school.
Above reproach is how his estranged wife, Jacqueline Dodd, described him. Wednesday by a 911 call from Andra Cobb.
Officials launched a search but said the response was slow because of the rugged terrain and lack of access. Engulfed in flames, the wreckage of the helicopter registered to an aviation company linked to Burnett was spotted on a ranch.
The intended destination was the Emery Gap Ranch, a mountainous property near the Colorado New Mexico border. Burnett bought it in February 2017, said Sam Middleton, a real estate broker in Lubbock, Texas, who helped with the purchase.
In Zimbabwe, Tendai Biti, a prominent opposition leader and a former finance minister, tweeted that the Bennetts passing was blow to our struggle. David Coltart, an opposition figure, said the couple were of Zimbabwe greatest patriots. 2004, Roy Bennett was jailed for a year for assaulting a Cabinet minister who had said Bennett were thieves and murderers during a parliamentary debate. An enraged Bennett charged the minister, who fell to the floor.
He emerged from prison rail thin and scarred from repeated sunburns. He told of the mistreatment of fellow prisoners, some of whom he said had starved to death in their cells.
After receiving death threats, Bennett fled Zimbabwe but returned in 2009 after his party nominated him for the deputy agriculture minister in a coalition government with Mugabe ZANU PF. Mugabe, who had repeatedly alleged Bennett was the opposition party contact with foreign funders, refused to swear him in.
Bennett later returned to South Africa but remained a vocal critic of Mugabe rule. He also criticized his former party for allegedly enjoying the comforts of government while ordinary Zimbabweans suffered.