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Americans killed in Kenya crash

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 3/05/19, 11:10 am

Four Americans died in a weekend helicopter crash at a national park in northern Kenya, officials and family members confirmed Monday. A helicopter went down Sunday in the Central Island National Park after visiting the Lobolo tented camp on Lake Turkana. A rescue team found the wreckage at 3 a.m. on Monday, Kenya’s Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement.

The U.S. Embassy confirmed the deaths and identified three of the four Americans. Businessmen Asher Burke and Brandon Stapper, two friends from San Diego, were visiting a lodge in Kenya that Burke had purchased and planned to turn into a vacation destination, Stapper’s brother Brett Stapper said. The other identified casualty, Kyle Forti, worked as a political consultant for several Republicans in Colorado. His brother Josh Forti said he was visiting friends in Kenya at the time of the crash. “Right now, we’re grieving,” Josh Forti said. “But we trust God and trust that God’s in control here.”

Forti, 29, graduated from Hillsdale College and fostered children with his wife, Hope. They also have a 5-year-old son. “He would want his identity to be ‘Colorado Foster Dad’ or just ‘Colorado Father’ rather than ‘Colorado Political Strategist,’” his wife wrote on Facebook after his death. Colorado lawmakers observed a moment of silence for Forti at the state Capitol on Monday.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.

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