U.S. Virgin Islands- The bodies of the 4 people who died in a helicopter crash at the Preserve at Botany Bay on St. Thomas on Monday have been recovered by the Dept. of Justice’s Office of the Medical Examiner and secured in the morgue, V.I. Attorney General, Denise N. George announced.
All bodies retrieved this morning by the DOJ Medical Examiner’s Office after recovery efforts resumed at 6:30 am
Recovery efforts resumed at 6 am this morning after it was suspended by DOJ ME investigation Monday night due to treacherous terrains and conditions that made it difficult for them to retrieve the bodies from the crash site with limited visibility. Recovery required cutting of thick brush therefore, DOJ ME technicians with the assistance of V.I. fire Services, St. Thomas Rescue, V.I. Port Authority, and VITEMA worked together to successfully remove the bodies. ME technicians then transported and secured the bodies in the morgue.
DOJ Medical Examiner, Dr. Francisco Landron, will be performing autopsies on all four victims of the crash. After which he will provide immediate updates on the names of the decedents and formal positive identifications as soon as they are officially verified. “Our responsibility under the DOJ Medical Examiner’s office is the removal and securing of the bodies. This includes positive identification determination, and true cause and manner of death determination, investigations, autopsies, toxicology & specimen analyses”, said AG George.
AG George thanks all emergency personnel and responding agencies including V.I. Fire Services that distinguished the fire caused by the crash, V.I. Police Dept., ATF, VITEMA, U.S. Customs and BorderProtection, V.I. Port Authority, St. Thomas Rescue, Emergency Medical Technicians, and “A Clean Environment” that assisted in the emergency efforts.
“On behalf of the Dept. of Justice, we extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of those who died as a result of the helicopter crash,” said AG George.