Verbier, Switzerland: On Tuesday, April 2, a tragic helicopter crash occurred at Petit Combin near Verbier, Switzerland, resulting in the death of three individuals and injuries to three others.

The incident involved a B3 type helicopter crashing at Petit Combin, a location famed for its off-piste skiing and heliskiing opportunities, close to the well-known Verbier Ski Resort, at approximately 9:25 a.m. The helicopter was transporting four passengers and a guide on a heliskiing excursion, piloted by a single individual. The official police report attributes the crash to “unspecified reasons,” stating the helicopter slid from the summit of Petit Combin at an altitude of 3,668 meters (12,034 feet). However, eyewitness accounts to British media suggested an avalanche propelled the helicopter down the mountain’s north face. The slope of the descent from Petit Combin is notably steep, with angles ranging from 40-45 degrees.

Swiss media, along with confirmation from The Telegraph, reported that the crash resulted in the fatalities of the pilot, the guide, and one passenger, identified as British tourists. The surviving British skiers, named Edward Courage, Teddy Hitchens, and Guy Hitchens, managed to escape the avalanche by exiting the helicopter as it slid. Edward Courage, reportedly a resident of Verbier and a member of the UK’s Courage brewing dynasty, is believed to have assisted the Hitchens brothers in escaping, though these details cannot be fully confirmed.

Following the accident, the Hitchens brothers were swiftly located by search and rescue teams and transported to a hospital in Sitten. Edward Courage, who had fallen into a crevasse, was located several hours later with the aid of an avalanche beacon. He was rescued and airlifted to Sion Hospital, where he is being treated for multiple, unspecified fractures.

The individuals who lost their lives in the crash were identified as 45-year-old mountain guide Adam George from New Hampshire, helicopter pilot Jerome Lovey, a father of two, and James Goff, whose nationality remains unconfirmed.

Weather conditions on the day of the crash were reported as clear, with about 10 inches of new snowfall.

The Swiss Safety Investigation Centre (SUST) is conducting an inquiry into the crash’s cause, while the Federal Prosecutor’s Office (BA), in collaboration with Fedpol and the Cantonal Police of Wallis/Valais, is overseeing the criminal investigation.

Unofficial Networks Newsletter

Get the latest snow and mountain lifestyle news and entertainment delivered to your inbox.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.