The three Brits killed in a helicopter crash at the Grand Canyon were celebrating one of the group’s 30th birthdays.
Stuart Hill, 30, his brother Jason 32, and his girlfriend Becky Dobson, 27, were killed when their helicopter crashed into the Canyon’s rugged terrain on Sunday.>Police officer hit by colleague's van while chasing suspect
The brothers’ heartbroken dad has spoken out about his ‘wonderful boys’ as the first photos of the victims emerged.
David Hill, described his two sons as ‘inseparable’ and revealed they had both been on the helicopter tour with friends when it went down at around 5.30pm, 60 miles northwest of Peach Springs, Arizona.
He said his sons had been saving for the trip for over a year, to celebrate Stuart’s 30th birthday, which was on Friday.
The Eurocopter EC130 crashed in ‘unknown circumstances’ killing Stuart, Jason and Becky.
Jason’s girlfriend Jennifer Barham, 39, survived the crash alongside newlywed couple Jonathan Udall, 32 and Ellie Milward, 29, and pilot, Scott Booth, 42, and are said to be ‘fighting for their lives’ in hospital.
David, a chaplain, from Worthing, West Sussex, said: ‘The boys had been saving for over a year for this trip and they were really looking forward to it.
‘They and a group of friends had all flown out to celebrate Stuart’s birthday and it was part of the trip for them to all go on a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon.
‘We found out yesterday about the crash and me and their mother, Sandra, are truly devastated.
‘The boys were so close, they were born 22 months apart and were like twins. They were just inseparable.
‘Jason worked as a solicitor and Stuart worked as a car salesman, they both lived very successful lives, we were so proud of them.
‘We are so lucky to have had our boys for 30 years. We are so heartbroken.’
Stuart and Jason’s cousin, Holly Campbell, confirmed that Jason was with girlfriend Jennifer when the crash took place.
She said: ‘This is a devastating time for our family.
‘We have spoken to my uncle and we all just trying to come to terms with what has happened. I saw them both at my son’s christening in December.
‘They were kind, caring and loved by all who knew and met them.’
Becky’s father Peter Dobson told the Press Association his daughter was ‘full of life and looking forward to going to Vegas for her boyfriend’s 30th birthday to celebrate’.
‘She was a lovely girl. Everyone liked her, she liked her travelling – she went to Australia for a year to travel round,’ he said.
‘She was always happy. They just went for a long weekend; a four-night break. They were staying in Vegas, they had been looking forward to it for a long time.>Four children stabbed in south London with one boy being 'disembowelled'
‘They [Becky and Stuart] were really happy together, they were always going out and doing things, just enjoyed being with each other. The whole thing is just terrible.’
Becky reportedly worked as a receptionist at the Vets4Pets practice in Worthing, West Sussex, and had dreams of becoming a veterinary nurse.
In her bio for the practice, Becky had written: ‘I’m a very outgoing person and I’m always up for having fun.
‘My favourite things to do are, spending time up the yard with my four legged, beautiful boy, Buddy the Irish sports horse, seeing friends and family and I also love to travel the world and explore what is out there beyond good old Worthing.’
She had also previously worked as an au pair in Sydney, Australia.
Witnesses of the crash described how the seven passengers had fallen 600ft down into the canyon, in the Hualapai Nation reservation.
Jonathan and new wife Ellie went on the trip as part of their honeymoon after getting married last year, according to Jonathan’s father, Philip.
Philip said the family were desperately trying to get a flight over to their son and daughter-in-law’s bedside.
He said: ‘We found out yesterday lunchtime that they Jonathan and Ellie had been involved in an accident.
‘We don’t know much more than what has been reported in the papers and we are just desperately trying to get a flight over at the moment.
‘We have spoken to the hospital and they are in a critical condition but they told us they are currently stable.
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‘The information is currently quite sketchy but we know that other families will be suffering a lot worse than us at the moment. Others were not so lucky.
‘Johnathan and Ellie were on their honeymoon after recently getting married.
‘At this point, we don’t know much more we are just in a rush to get out there. We’re desperate for news.’
The circumstances surrounding the crash – on the West Rim of the Canyon – are currently unknown.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: ‘We are providing support to the families of six British visitors involved in a helicopter accident at the Grand Canyon on February 10, and we are in close contact with the US emergency services.’