Riley Dobson of Guelph, Ont. named as teen victim of Hawaii chopper crash

A Canadian teen who died after a helicopter crash in Hawaii has been identified as 16-year-old Riley Dobson of Guelph, Ont.

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Dobson and his family members were on a tour of Pearl Harbor last Thursday, when their helicopter plunged into the ocean, narrowly missing a group of people onshore.

The family was admitted to Pali Mom Medical Center in West O’ahu after the incident. A statement from the hospital on Monday said that Dobson had passed away.

In honour of the teen, flags flew at half-mast outside his high school, Centennial Collegiate Vocational Institute, this week.

Word of Dobson’s death left students in shock.

“It’s just really sad that someone just died that young,” said one student.

Another student told CTV Kitchener that her classmates were crying upon learning the news. “It touched everyone,” she said.

A spokesperson said that the Upper Grand District School Board was “deeply, deeply saddened” to learn of Dobson’s death, adding “our heart goes out to the family.”

Dobson was a competitive equestrian and trained at Lions’ Bridge Stable in Cambridge, Ont.

Meanwhile, two family members remain in hospital in stable condition. Another family member has been released from hospital.

A report by the National Transportation Safety Board said the pilot of the commercial helicopter sustained serious injuries but few details are known about the pilot’s current condition.

Crash caught on video

The dramatic crash was caught on video, showing the helicopter abruptly tilt to one side before slamming into the sea.

Dobson was trapped underwater and had to be cut from his seat.

Bystanders at the nearby Pearl Harbor visitor centre were quick to offer their help, with several diving into the ocean.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

With files from CTV Kitchener


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