Herbert Wigwe, the chief executive officer of Access Holdings, a leading Nigerian financial services group, was among the six people killed in a helicopter crash in California on Friday night, according to multiple reports.
The helicopter, a Eurocopter EC130, was en route to Las Vegas when it went down near Nipton, a small town close to the Nevada border, around 10 p.m. local time, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said it received a report of a downed aircraft at 10:12 p.m. and located the crash site east of the 15-Freeway, near Halloran Springs Road. No survivors were found as of Saturday morning, the department said in a statement.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are still investigating the cause of the crash.
Wigwe, 54, was a prominent banker and entrepreneur who had led Access Holdings since 2014. He was named the African Banker of the Year at the 2021 edition of the African Banker Awards for his role in transforming Access Bank into a pan-African financial institution.
He was also a philanthropist who supported various causes, including education, health, and youth empowerment, through his Herbert Wigwe Foundation.
According to The Will, a Nigerian online news platform, Wigwe’s wife and son were also on board the ill-fated helicopter, along with three other unidentified passengers, but The Explainer coul not independently verify the claim at the time of filing this report.
Wigwe’s death has sparked an outpouring of condolences and tributes from his colleagues, friends, and admirers, who hailed him for his visionary leadership.