Remains of West Sussex vicar's sons misidentified after helicopter crash

Thu 03 May 2018
By Alex Williams

Two sons of a West Sussex vicar were misidentified after they died in a helicopter crash in the Grand Canyon, an autopsy report has revealed.

The document said the remains of Stuart Hill were mistakenly identified as those of his brother Jason, before DNA testing detected the error.

Stuart, 30, and Jason, 32, were among five Britons who lost their lives when an Airbus EC130 B4 plummeted into a fireball on 10th February 2018.


Their father, Rev David Hill, a hospital chaplain and former Baptist church leader, described them as "incredibly close" and "always happy".

A report by the Mohave County medical examiner's office concluded both the young men suffered burns to 100 per cent of their body, meaning neither was "identifiable by physical features".

Originally from the seaside town of Worthing, the brothers were on holiday in the United States to celebrate Stuart Hill's 30th birthday.

Teddy Fujimoto via AP


Stuart's 27-year-old girlfriend, Becky Dobson, also died in the incident, as did newlyweds Ellie Milward, from West Sussex, and Jonathan Udall, who originally came from Southampton.

Mr Udall's parents are suing the tour operator Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters in a wrongful death lawsuit. They are also suing the aircraft's pilot, who survived the crash, accusing him of negligence.

Jonathan Udall's parents also claim that fewer people would have died if a crash-resistant fuel tank had been installed. Airbus Helicopters has said more of its aircraft are being built with the devices.

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