The news of Chris Cline’s accidental death has become even more tragic. The Sun-Sentinel reports that the helicopter crash that killed the billionaire businessman mogul also killed his daughter, Kameron Cline, and her best friend Brittney Searson.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Kameron and Brittney had known each other ever since they were kids. They were both recent graduates of Louisiana State University and were members of the same sorority.
The Sun reports that the chopper went down in the waters near the Bahamas in the early morning of July 4, the day before his 61st birthday. They were flying from his private island, Grand Cay, on their way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, because Kameron had an emergency medical condition. Details of the medical emergency haven’t been released to the public.
The downed helicopter was found submerged less than five miles away from the island.
None of the passengers survived the crash. Two other friends of Kameron’s, Delaney Wykle and Jillian Clarke, also perished. They were both in their early twenties.
In a statement published by The Daily Mail, the Cline family expressed their grief for the loss of their loved ones.
“We are all so deeply saddened to announce the deaths of our beloved father Chris and our sister Kameron,” the statement read. “This loss will be felt by all those who had the privilege of having known them.”
The helicopter was flown by a man named Geoff Painter, who co-owns Cloud 9 Aviation. David Jude, co-owner of the company was also on the flight.
Chris Cline was often called the “new king of coal” because of the massive profits he made in that industry. He started his career in coal at a young age, according to his bio on his company’s website. He had a net worth of $1.8 billion thanks to profitable business decisions he’d made in the past, like investing in high-sulfur coal reserves in Illinois, Forbes reports.
He was a Donald Trump supporter who made a million dollar donation to the president’s campaign.
President Trump eulogized Chris Cline in a recent tweet.
“My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of great businessman and energy expert Chris Cline, his wonderful daughter, Kameron, and their friends, on the tragic accident which took place in the Bahamas,” he wrote. “The great people of West Virginia will never forget them!”
Friends say Kameron Cline, 22 suffered a medical emergency at her father Chris Cline's birthday bash on his Bahamian island – prompting Cline to put his daughter, 3 of her friends & 2 pilots on his helicopter to rush to a hospital. The chopper crashed two miles out, killing all 7 pic.twitter.com/QhX9Mq1IeW
— Terri Parker (@wpbf_terri) July 5, 2019
The Governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, also paid tribute to him on Twitter.
Today we lost a WV superstar and I lost a very close friend. Our families go back to the beginning of the Cline empire – Pioneer Fuel. Chris Cline built an empire and on every occasion was always there to give. What a wonderful, loving, and giving man.
— Governor Jim Justice (@WVGovernor) July 5, 2019