"She'd been sending pictures all week long of how wonderful their vacation had been," a friend of victim Amy Gannon said

By Karen Mizoguchi
December 29, 2019 05:30 PM

There were no survivors in the helicopter crash on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, authorities confirmed.

Police identified the bodies recovered following the incident and noted that recovery efforts were suspended on Saturday afternoon. The Kauai Police Department said in a statement that passengers Amy Gannon, 47, and Jocelyn Gannon, 13, of Madison, Wisconsin, were among the victims of the crash.

Along with the mother-daughter pair, pilot Paul Matero, 69, of Wailua, Hawaii, was also identified. “Due to the additional recovery efforts, the nature of the crash and impact damage, Kaua‘i police can confirm that there are no survivors,” the statement read.

Amy’s husband, Mike, and their 16-year-old son Aaron were also in Hawaii at the time, according to her friend and colleague Heather Wentler, who spoke with The Wisconsin State Journal. Mike and Aaron were not on the helicopter ride.

“She’d been sending pictures all week long of how wonderful their vacation had been,” Wentler said of Amy, who co-founded the Madison-based nonprofit Doyenne Group with Wentler.

Amy’s daughter Jocelyn was an eighth-grade student at Hamilton Middle School who was a gymnast and competed at the regional level. “One of the many places you got to see the true Jocelyn shine,” Wentler said.

Police confirmed the deaths of the remaining passengers, who are believed to be a family from Switzerland.

In a statement on Facebook, authorities said the members of the family were identified as a 50-year-old woman, a 49-year-old man and two girls, 13 and 10 years old. Their names have not yet been released as autopsies are pending.

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Lt j g Daniel Winter/AP/Shutterstock

“We offer our continued condolences and prayers to the families and friends of the victims,” KPD Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce said. “As we continue to search for and recover evidence pertinent to this tragic helicopter crash, we hope to bring some sense of closure to the loved ones of the victims.”

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the crash. “The scene has been turned over for further investigation to the National Transportation Safety Board,” police said.

Kauai Fire Department Battalion Chief Sol Kanoho previously confirmed that there were two separate families on board the aircraft, NBC News reported.

In a previous statement, the Coast Guard said authorities were first alerted to the disappearance of the aircraft after the helicopter’s owner contacted authorities just after 6 p.m. last Thursday.