ST. LOUIS – Five people were killed when a helicopter with six people onboard crashed into the East River in New York City Sunday night. It happened around 7 p.m. between Queens and Manhattan. 5 On Your Side has learned there is a St. Louis connection to one of those passengers who died in the crash.
One of the co-owners of a popular Central West End restaurant is the brother-in-law of a passenger onboard that plane. According to NBC News, the chopper was being used for a photo shoot and there was a group of photographers and journalists on board.
According to The Washington Post, Travis Howard, the owner of Retreat Gastro Pub had tried contacting police and local hospitals because his family had not heard from his brother-in-law, Trevor Cadigan.
Cadigan posted a video to Instagram just as the helicopter was taking off. Also on his flight was a close friend, and Dallas firefighter, Officer Brian McDaniel.
The Post reported that at 2 a.m., Howard got a call from NYPD, letting them know that his brother-in-law had died in the crash.
Cadigan was a graduate of SMU, where he majored in journalism and media studies.
"He was a quiet kid, but you always knew he was in the room,” said Tony Pederson, the chair of the SMU Journalism Department and one of Cadigan’s professors. “He had a great dry sense of humor like we like in journalists. And he was very very smart and he was very committed,” Pederson said.
5 On Your Side looked into the history of Liberty Helicopters, the company that chartered the flight that crashed into the Hudson. Since 2000, there have been six incidents. Four of those were crashes. Two of those crashes landed in the Hudson River. One of them was fatal, killing a total of six people. These figures do not include Sunday’s crash.
Now, with yet another tragedy, a St. Louis family mourns the loss of one of its own, an inspiring young journalist, who will never get to live out his full potential.
"It's a student like Trevor that gave us a great deal of optimism about the future of journalism and the future of news media,” Professor Pederson said of his former student.
The cause of the crash is still unclear. According to NBC News, the pilot was able to free himself and was taken to the hospital in what was described as “OK” condition.