Owner of national firm killed in Cave Creek chopper crash

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Investigators on scene of a deadly chopper crash in Cave Creek. By Alicia Barron Investigators on scene of a deadly chopper crash in Cave Creek. By Alicia Barron
Investigators on scene of a deadly chopper crash in Cave Creek. By Alicia Barron Investigators on scene of a deadly chopper crash in Cave Creek. By Alicia Barron
Investigators on scene of a deadly chopper crash in Cave Creek. By Alicia Barron Investigators on scene of a deadly chopper crash in Cave Creek. By Alicia Barron
Investigators on scene of a deadly chopper crash in Cave Creek. By Alicia Barron Investigators on scene of a deadly chopper crash in Cave Creek. By Alicia Barron
Investigators on scene of a deadly chopper crash in Cave Creek. By Alicia Barron Investigators on scene of a deadly chopper crash in Cave Creek. By Alicia Barron

CAVE CREEK – Five people were on board a helicopter that crashed in the northeast Valley carrying a CEO and his family.

3TV has confirmed the victims of a deadly helicopter crash were CEO Tom Stewart, his wife Madina, their 5-year-old daughter Sydney, a pilot and at least one other passenger.

Their helicopter crashed in Cave Creek on Sunday afternoon near 72nd Street and Highland. There were no survivors.

Susie Bradstock, who saw the crash, tells 3TV, “He's a horseman and very well regarded in the community.”

It was Stewart's chopper that came falling out of the sky and burst into flames in a Cave Creek wash on Sunday.

On Monday one of Stewart's best friends, Peter Von Reichbauer, a Seattle city councilman, confirmed to 3TV’s sister station that 65-year-old Stuart, his wife, 5-year--old daughter and his longtime pilot were onboard the aircraft. A fifth passenger was also killed. Also onboard were two dogs.

Bradstock says she knew Stewart and saw the chopper go down. “I was just stepping off my horse and heard a terrible noise, pop, pop, terrible noise of helicopter rotors seemed out of sync to me. I dropped everything, looked up, and saw a big cloud of smoke.” Bradstock adds, “It's one thing to run from your house and see a terrible accident, another to find out it was someone you know.”

Outside Services Group of America, where Stewart was CEO, a flag was at half mast.

SGA is the second-largest privately-held company in Arizona with a worth estimated in the billions.

The company says Stewart’s chopper had taken off from Flagstaff and was en route to Scottsdale when it crashed.
Stewart, a father of six, was reportedly very active in republican politics and a lover of adventure.

Near the crash site, National Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived on Monday afternoon to begin their examination of the scene.

Thomas Little, and air safety investigator with NTSB, says, “After on site investigation of wreckage the aircraft will be recovered by a company and we'll do a layout or offsite more detailed examination.”

As that examination gets under way, neighbors in Cave Creek say they are still shocked that such a tragic accident hit so close to home.

A press release was issued by Services Group of America. To read the entire release, click here.