Grieving Sydney father asks for prayers for son after helicopter crash on Gold Coast

The stepfather of a 10-year-old Sydney boy in critical condition after a helicopter crash on the Gold Coast has called on people to pray for his son.

Simon Madras is also mourning the death of his wife Vanessa Talos, 36. He died Monday afternoon when two of his helicopters collided with each other near the SeaWorld amusement park.

His son-in-law Nicholas has since been put into an induced coma on life support and is fighting for his life in the ICU of a Gold Coast hospital.

“It is with great sadness and the heaviness of my heart that I have to inform everyone that my beautiful wife and mother passed away to our son Vanessa,” the grief-stricken father posted on social media Tuesday night. Did.

“I ask you all to please pray for Nicki so that she can wake up and recover smoothly.

“He is in a very serious and critical condition. I am asking for all your prayers for my little man to come back to me.

A fundraiser launched by family friend Rochelle Fajloun to help with funeral and medical costs had raised nearly $10,000 (US$6,800) by noon Wednesday.

The incident also claimed the lives of British-born pilot Ashley Jenkinson, 40, and British newlyweds Ron and Diane Hughes, 65 and 57.

The helicopter with seven people on board fell from a height and crashed into a sandbar after the main rotor struck the windshield of a second helicopter and separated.

Meanwhile, 33-year-old mother Winnie de Silva and 9-year-old son Leon de Silva survived but were taken to hospital in critical condition.

Leon suffered brain trauma with face and head injuries and a cracked skull at Brisbane Children’s Hospital, while his mother sustained two legs, a broken left knee, a broken right shoulder and a broken collarbone in the crash. .

Neil de Silva, de Silva’s husband and Leon’s stepfather, was watching.

“Winnie and Leon’s helicopter took off, but only traveled about 200 meters in the air,” he told the Herald Sun.

“I saw another helicopter that was going to land…it looked like they were going to hit each other.”

“As I got closer, I was just thinking, ‘This is crazy, this is really bad,’ so I just got numb.”

The family was on a budget vacation to the Gold Coast when the accident happened.

The heartbroken husband only learned that his wife and son-in-law were still alive an hour and a half after the accident.

“It’s a tragedy for Winnie and Leon, but they survived…my heart goes out to those who survived,” De Silva told Nine News.

He also started a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help pay for his wife and son-in-law’s medical bills and accommodation on the Gold Coast. By 5:30 pm Wednesday, he had raised his $35,061, exceeding his $20,000 goal.

All other helicopter passengers survive

A second helicopter, piloted by 52-year-old Michael James, was in the air less than 20 minutes before the crash. James manages to land on a sandbar and save the lives of five passengers, four of whom are injured by shards of glass.

James and two passengers remained in the hospital on Tuesday night.

Passengers included a woman from Western Australia and two New Zealand couples in their 40s who were traveling together.

The Australian Transport Safety Authority is investigating the crash to determine what is happening inside the two cockpits at the crash site.

Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell said the rising helicopter’s main rotor blades struck the descending helicopter’s cockpit.

Mitchell told reporters on Tuesday, “We haven’t yet determined, exactly, whether it was the first point of impact.

“But that in itself led to the main rotor and gearbox separating from the main helicopter, which had no lift and dropped heavily to the ground.”

Locals laid flowers at tourist hotspot sites.

Police divers burned the area around 6pm and removed the last bits of debris before leaving the scene around 6pm on Tuesday.

AAP contributed to this article.

Nina Nguyen

Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Please contact her at [email protected]