A Greenville High School graduate and her 13-year-old daughter were among seven people killed in a Dec. 26 helicopter crash in Kauai, Hawaii.
Amy Myers Gannon, 47, and her eighth-grade daughter Jocelyn of Madison, Wisonsin, were on a family vacation when they were aboard a helicopter that crashed on a mountaintop in Kauai’s rugged Na Pali Coast, our media partner Early Bird Newspaper reported.
Also killed were the pilot, 69-year-old Paul Matero and four passengers believed to be a family from Switzerland.
Gannon was a 1990 Greenville High School grad, a longtime educator and a founder of the Doyenne Group, a Madison-based nonprofit created in 2012 to support and mentor women in starting and growing businesses. She also co-founded the Social Good Network, worked with other area nonprofits supporting diversity and inclusion and served on many women-led boards, the newspaper reported.
“Amy always had an infectious smile,” said Heather Hunt Brown, one of her classmates in Greenville. “We were in Spanish class and National Honor Society together, but after high school, we lost contact. She was loved.”
Her daughter Jocelyn had many friends in school and competed at the regional level in gymnastics.
Gannon’s husband, Mike and their 16-year-old son Aaron also were on the vacation but were not on the helicopter tour, according to reports.
Amy Gannon’s father is John Myers (wife Judy) of Piqua and her mother is the former Hope Harry, who lives in Florida.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft, a Eurocopter AS350 B2, was found about 13 miles north of Hanapepe, a small community on the southern side of the island of Kauai. The remains of six people were recovered late Friday, authorities said.
In Hawaii, the accident has ramped up scrutiny of tour helicopter operations, with U.S. Rep. Ed Case, D-Hawaii, calling for greater oversight and safety precautions.
According to a preliminary report, the pilot said the tour was leaving the Waimea Canyon area, known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” about 4:40 p.m., which was the last contact with the helicopter, Kauai police said.