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Herbert Wigwe, the CEO of a major Nigerian bank, was one of the six people killed in a Friday night helicopter crash in California’s Mojave Desert, authorities say.
The death of Wigwe, who led Access Bank Group, was confirmed by Nigerian officials on social media, including World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Abimbola Ogunbanjo, a former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group, was also killed in the crash. Nigerian politician Godwin Obaseki reported that Wigwe’s wife and son were among the decedents as well.
6 PEOPLE PRESUMED DEAD AFTER HELICOPTER CRASHES IN CALIFORNIA’S MOJAVE DESERT EN ROUTE TO LAS VEGAS AREA
The crash happened at around 10 p.m. local time Friday near Nipton, California, which is not far from the California-Nevada border.
Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe speaks onstage at Global Citizen Live, Lagos on Sept. 18, 2021, in Lagos, Nigeria. (Andrew Esiebo/Getty Images for Global Citizen/File)
The helicopter left Palm Springs Airport at around 8:45 p.m. and was on its way to Boulder City, Nevada, which is near Las Vegas. At the time of the crash, rainy and snowy weather was reported in the area.
Multiple American agencies are investigating the crash, including San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the NTSB and the FAA.
“The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate,” the FAA said to Fox News Digital. “The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide any updates.”
5 MARINES KILLED IN CALIFORNIA HELICOPTER CRASH ARE IDENTIFIED
Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe attends Global Citizen Live, Lagos on Sept. 18, 2021, in Lagos, Nigeria. (Andrew Esiebo/Getty Images for Global Citizen/File)
In a statement, Obaseki, who is Governor of the Edo State, said that he is “extremely shocked and devastated” over Wigwe’s death on X Saturday.
“The tragic incident is painful and heart-wrenching, and we pray for God’s abiding comfort in this profoundly difficult time,” Obaseki wrote.
“Wigwe was a colossus in Nigeria’s financial sector, leading Access Bank to become an international brand that placed Nigeria on the global map of first-class financial services,” he added. “I commiserate with the Wigwe family, the Ogunbanjo family, Access Bank Holding, the Nigeria Stock Exchange, friends and associates, and pray that God will grant all the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
Dusk settles in over the Mojave Desert, about 10 miles north of Nipton, Calif. (Gina Ferazzi /Los Angeles Times via Getty Images/File)
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Fox News Digital reached out to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and Access Bank Group, but has not heard back.
Andrea Vacchiano is a breaking news writer for Fox News Digital and Fox Business. You can follow her on X at @andrea_vacch or send story tips to [email protected].