A FUNDRAISING page has been launched to help a Hedge End man and his wife after the helicopter they were sightseeing in crashed into the Grand Canyon.
Jonathan Udall and Ellie Milward are currently fighting for their lives following the crash on Saturday.
The pair, who travelled to America as part of their honeymoon, were part of a group of six British friends.
Three of the friends, Becky Dobson, 27 and brothers Stuart Hill, 30, Jason Hill, 32, a graduate of the University of Southampton, died in the crash.
Mr Udall, 32, his wife, 29, and friend Jennifer Barham, 39, were airlifted to University Medical Centre in Las Vegas, Nevada, along with pilot Scott Booth, 42, according to Arizona Central.
Following the crash, Mr Udall’s friend Chris Tucker, from Fareham, launched a Just Giving page.
He is hoping to raise £10,000 to help pay towards the couple’s treatment, as well as to support Mr Udall’s family, who live in Hedge End.
As of last night, the page had already collected more than £9,000 in donations.
On the Just Giving page, it said: “Our dearest friends Jon and Ellie have been involved in a tragic accident whilst honeymooning in Las Vegas.
“They are both currently in critical condition and their parents are travelling out to be by their sides.
“During this terrible time we want to try and do what we can to help all affected through this terrible situation.
“We believe donating whatever we can will help relieve any unexpected financial stress and let all involved focus on the important thing, the speedy recovery of this lovely couple.”
Mr Udall’s father Philip Udall, told the Echo on Monday that the family were preparing to fly out to America.
He said: “We are desperate for news.
“We don’t know much more than what’s being reported online at the moment.”
The crash took place during a storm on the Hualapai Nation reservation near the Grand Canyon’s West Rim, around 5.20pm local time on Saturday.
Dramatic images of the crash site show the wreckage lying at the bottom of a canyon, engulfed in flames.
Local media reports claim it took rescuers more than eight hours to get to the survivors and they were not airlifted from the scene until around 2am on Sunday.
The helicopter tour was run by Papillon.
Chief executive Brenda Halvorson said: “It is with extreme sadness we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families involved in this accident.
“Our top priority is the care and needs of our passengers and our staff.”
To donate to Mr Tucker’s page, visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jon-and-ellie.
Source : DailyEcho