Miami businessman, 71, is identified as man killed after helicopter he was in spun out of control and landed into creek: Daughter, 27, survived after swimming to safety

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • Jordan Zanzuri, 27, named as survivor of Miami helicopter crash that killed pilot father Clement Zanzuri, 71 
  • Rescuers only discovered the resting place of the downed Hughes 369 when the saw Jordan swimming to the bank of the canal where it crashed
  • The helicopter was minutes from Miami Executive Airport when it came down at the end of their 150-mile flight from Fort Myers 

Police have named the father who died and the daughter who swam to safety after their helicopter crashed into a canal just outside of Miami Executive Airport.

Jordan Zanzuri, 27, was the only passenger aboard as Clement Zanzuri, 71, piloted the single-engine Hughes 369 from Fort Myers shortly before 2pm on Wednesday.

Witnesses called 911 after seeing the aircraft heading into a spin before coming down and sinking in a canal just three miles short of the airport.

But first responders only discovered its resting place when they spotted Jordan swimming to the canal bank and screaming that her businessman father was still trapped on board.

‘That’s when divers went into the water to search for an additional person,’ said Miami Detective Alvaro Zabaleta.

Jordan Zanzuri, 27, (center) and her father Clement Zanzuri, 71, (right) at Jordan’s graduation from Columbia University last year 

Jordan was taken to the Jackson Memorial South Trauma Center after swimming to shore from the wreck of the downed helicopter outside Miami

Jordan was taken to the Jackson Memorial South Trauma Center after swimming to shore from the wreck of the downed helicopter outside Miami 

Recovery teams finally managed to retrieve the wreck of the helicopter earlier today

Rescuers headed in and managed to free the 71-year-old from the wreckage before attempting CPR on the canal bank.

But he was declared dead on arrival at the Jackson Memorial South Trauma Center where his daughter was still being treated for non life-threatening injuries this afternoon.

Clement Zanzuri was president of Stoneworks Inc, a Miami based supplier of countertops for bathrooms and kitchens.

His daughter graduated from Columbia University last year and posted a picture on Instagram of her father beaming with pride alongside Jordan as she collected her degree.

She worked for nearly three years at her father’s company according to her LinkedIn profile, and currently coaches students for the Law School Admission Test.

‘We saw a chopper very low, very low, and actually, directly, right behind where it happened,’ said witness Vivian Alvarez.

‘It was flying very low. That´s how initially I realized something was happening,’

‘Soon thereafter, there were like five helicopters.

‘It’s pretty scary that something like that happened around here.’

It was Thursday morning before recovery crews were able to retrieve the battered helicopter with the help of a crane from its resting place near 187th Avenue and SW 122nd Street.

Jordan has more than 1,100 followers on Instagram where she documents her extensive travels

Jordan has more than 1,100 followers on Instagram where she documents her extensive travels

Four years ago she was enjoying winter in Miami as she worked for her father's firm nearby

Four years ago she was enjoying winter in Miami as she worked for her father’s firm nearby 

The talented 27-year-old has spent four years coaching other students for their law exams

The talented 27-year-old has spent four years coaching other students for their law exams

Jordan was enjoying Thailand's Phi Phi islands just three months ago

Jordan was enjoying Thailand’s Phi Phi islands just three months ago 

Adventuring in Dubai with a friend earlier this year

Adventuring in Dubai with a friend earlier this year

Both the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Homicide Bureau and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have opened inquiries into the cause of the crash.

Peter C. Knudson of the NTSB said it will look at flight track data, air traffic control communications, maintenance records, weather forecasts and actual weather, the pilot’s license and flight experience, crash videos and witness statements.

They will study the pilot’s behavior in the 72 hours before the flight ‘to determine if there were any issues that could have affected the pilot’s ability to safely operate the flight’.

‘NTSB investigations involve three primary areas: the pilot, the aircraft and the operating environment,’ he told the Miami Herald.

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

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