SGA releases IDs of 5 killed in Arizona crash

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Associated Press

Posted on February 21, 2010 at 3:58 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities have released the identities of the pilot and another man who were among five people killed in a helicopter crash north of Phoenix last weekend.

Everyone aboard a company-owed Eurocopter EC-135 died in Sunday's crash including Thomas J. Stewart, the 64-year-old owner and founder of one of the nation's largest foodservice distributors — Scottsdale-based Services Group of America.

SGA officials on Friday said the other victims were Stewart's 40-year-old wife Madena, the couple's 5-year-old daughter Sydney, 63-year-old company pilot Rick Morton and Madena Stewart's 38-year-old brother Mailang Abudula. Two of the Stewart family's dogs also died. SGA said a memorial service is scheduled Sunday for all five victims at Phoenix First Campus' church.

The helicopter was headed to Scottsdale from the Flagstaff area when it crashed in a rural desert wash. The cause of the accident is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

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