Man killed in New York helicopter crash was a Butler graduate

Posted at 9:29 AM, Mar 13, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS -- One of the five people onboard a helicopter when it crashed into New York City's East River Sunday night was a Butler graduate. 

A spokesperson for Butler University said 34-year-old Daniel Thompson graduated in 2006. 

Thompson was the board president and a member of the Young New Yorkers' Chorus, according to the organization. The Young New Yorkers' Chorus posted a statement about his death on its Facebook page:

"Daniel loved his friends unconditionally and was always there - at any hour of the day or night. He was passionate and kind, and was always someone to lean on. He had both a mighty voice, as well as a mighty heart. The YNYC community is shocked and devastated by this loss, and extends its condolences to family, friends, and loved ones of all the victims of this tragic accident."

The helicopter was owned by Liberty Helicopters, a tour company in New York. The crash Sunday night was the third time in 11 years one of the company's helicopters crashed in New York. The helicopter's pilot was the only one to survive the crash. 

The pilot said one of the passenger's bags may have inadvertently hit the emergency fuel shutoff button, leading to the crash that killed five passengers, a senior law enforcement official told CNN.

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