Chopper Crash Victim's Friend Shares Heartbreaking Story - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Chopper Crash Victim's Friend Shares Heartbreaking Story

By Diane Ako

SANTA MARIA, CALIFORNIA (KHNL) - Heartbreaking details emerge tonight about Thursday's deadly tour helicopter crash on Kauai that killed four people and wounded three others. One of the victims was on his honeymoon and still doesn't know his wife has died.

The pictures are worth a thousand words. A couple, in love. That was Cornelius Scholtz & Margriet Inglebreclt of Santa Maria, California.

Johann Veukes is a close friend of the couple and has known Scholtz for 10 years. He was housesitting for the pair, who had been due back home Friday March 9. They are all originally from South Africa. Veukes is in shock over the news. "We saw the accident but it was just so unreal to think that our friends were on that flight."

Veukes says Scholtz is in a coma, had surgery on his leg, and is on a breathing machine. Veukes says Scholtz doesn't know his wife is dead. " That is going to hurt more than his injures. I don't know. It would be a good thing to delay telling him that until such time that he can manage to get out there. That is just going to be terrible for him. She was his only girlfriend ever."

Veukes says the pair got married last April in South Africa and had been excited to come to Hawaii for "a long time." He says they were honeymooning in Hawaii when their sightseeing helicopter went down, injuring Scholtz and killing Inglebreclt. "It was supposed to be a very happy time for them and I do believe they had fun moments prior to that accident. It's devastating it would all end in such a tragic way."

Even more heartbreaking: the couple's time together was so brief. Veukes says his friends had been dating long distance until April 2006 when they got married, and Scholtz brought his new wife to America from South Africa where she had been living.

Veukes says he and other friends are trying to take turns scheduling trips to Hawaii in the upcoming weeks so Scholtz doesn't have to be alone.

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