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Herbert Wigwe’s death avoidable, US lawyer

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Group Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe

American aviation attorney Robert Clifford has stated that the fatal helicopter crash that took the lives of Herbert Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, and several other notable Nigerians in California on Friday may have been avoidable given the known weather conditions at that time.

Clifford, the founder and senior partner of Clifford Law Offices in Chicago, stated this in a news statement posted to the company’s website on Wednesday.

The Airbus Helicopter EC130B4, which was carrying six individuals, including two crew members, crashed in a border town between California and Nevada, killing Wigwe, his wife Doreen, his son Chizi, and Abimola Ogunbanjo, a former group chairman of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The US National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the helicopter crash and has moved the wreckage to a different location for laboratory testing and analysis.

The preliminary report is expected in four weeks. Clifford’s comments were made during this time.

According to Clifford, “The crash of a helicopter that killed six people, including a top Nigerian banker and his family, along the California-Nevada border Saturday night immediately strikes one as a tragedy that may have been avoided given the known weather conditions at that time.”

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Clifford did, however, express confidence that the US National Transportation Safety Board‘s ongoing investigations would show whether or not the tragedy was avoidable.

He said, “The National Transportation Safety Board investigators will thoroughly examine all aspects of what led up to the crash and ultimately will use their expertise to determine the probable cause of this crash to see if it was avoidable.”

“It is always a horrific tragedy when innocent lives are lost in an aviation disaster,” he added.

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