Kenny Chesney is mourning the death of a "dear friend" who died in a helicopter crash on the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. On Monday (February 15), the singer turned to Instagram to reveal the heartbreaking news and pay tribute to his late friend Maria Rodriguez.
"Today I have to say a very hard goodbye to my friend Maria Rodriguez in the Virgin Islands. Maria and others were killed today in a helicopter crash in St. Thomas," Chesney wrote alongside a slideshow of photos featuring the two together and a smiley solo shot of Rodriguez.
"She was a dear friend to me and to our island community," he continued. "I have been flying with Maria for over 15 years and we shared a lot of laughs and a lot of life together. She was always the first person I saw when I landed and the last person I said goodbye to when I would leave island. I’m sure going to miss that. It’s fair to say I won’t ever be able to go to the Virgin Islands again without feeling the loss of her. She was such a huge part of my island life."
He concluded, "So goodbye sweet friend. I’m sure glad our paths crossed on this side. See you on the other."
The St. Thomas Source reports that the helicopter crash took place in the Botany Bay area on Monday (February 15) at about 3:14 p.m. local time and killed four people. According to the publication, authorities are waiting to notify the next-of-kin before releasing the identities of the victims.
The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.
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