Billionaire Chris Cline and his daughter die in a helicopter crash. His family released a statement saying they are deeply saddened by the loss.
On the fourth of July, a small helicopter crashed into the ocean off the coast of the Bahamas. The helicopter contained billionaire Chris Cline, his daughter Kameron Cline, her friend Brittney Searson and four others. The plane crashed while going to Florida. All seven passengers were killed.
Chris’s older brother, Greg Cline spoke to The Palm Beach Post on Friday. He said, “I still can’t believe it. It’s like a dream … We were so close, all of us were.”
The Cline family released a statement to PEOPLE, confirming the death of Chris and Kameron Cline.
The family said, “We are all so deeply saddened … This loss will be felt by all those who had the privilege of having known them. Chris was one of West Virginia’s strongest sons, an American original, full of grit, integrity, intelligence and humor, a testament that our hopes and dreams are achievable when we believe and commit ourselves to action.”
According to Forbes, Chris Cline’s worth is $1.8 billion. He sold a $1.4 billion stake in his Foresight Energy in 2015. Chris originally belongs from West Virginia. He began working in the state’s coal mines at age 22. He later founded the Cline Group and Foresight.
Kameron Cline, 22, recently graduated from Louisiana State University. A family spokesman said she had three siblings, Logan, Tanner, and Candace.
Her uncle, Greg described Kameron as “a sweet person.”
Her family said Kameron was “a bright light to all who knew her, loving, smart, compassionate and full of joy and enthusiasm for life and other people.”
A legacy to remember
Chris and Kameron left a legacy for the entire family to remember.
Their family said, “It will live on through all of us. We love and miss them dearly but take comfort knowing they are with God now. We ask for prayers and privacy in our time of grieving.”
Searson, a friend, and roommate of Kameron’s also died in the crash. Her mother remembered her as a leader, strong, smart girl, beautiful.
Chris, Kameron and her friends were vacationing in the Bahamas for the holiday.
The details of the crash
According to the Beckley Register-Herald, they were returning to Florida because of a possible illness. Their helicopter left Big Grand Cay, a private island estate in the Bahamas, at 2 a.m. on Thursday. However, it crashed immediately after taking off.
The authorities received a report about the crash at 5 p.m. on Thursday. Moreover, the authorities did not receive any distress call from the helicopter.
Chris also worked as a major Republican donor and philanthropist. He would have turned 61 on Friday.
His brother added about him, “he gave to anybody that needed anything. He always knew what to do.”
Bartow Jones, a friend and business partner of Chris told PEOPLE, “He balanced it in a way by co-mingling them. He had a great paintball course, and he would teach the kids to play paintball. He would challenge the kids, but he didn’t have a gun … it was more ‘hunt’ than anything else, but the kids loved it. Chris had a lot of success and had been to a lot of places. But what he liked to do for fun never changed.”
Jones added, “He’s a remarkable man who took what he learned growing up … and took on the world and did it with confidence. It didn’t surprise me that his philanthropy focused on West Virginia. He was very proud of where he came from.”
The investigation is still ongoing as the authorities are trying to find the problem with the air crash.
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