Heli crash widow’s hopes


After five years, a highly-public court battle and numerous reports, the investigation into the death of helicopter crash victim Jerome Box is nearly at an end.

For his widow, Adelle Box, that can’t come soon enough.

“You adjust, but whenever something like this happens you go right back to all the heartbreak,” Adelle tells Mountain Scene.

“That’s really challenging. Everything changed in the instant that Jerome died.”

Jerome, an Auckland father of two, lost his life in a horror chopper crash on the icy slopes of Mt Alta, near Wanaka, on August 17, 2014.

A coroner’s hearing is scheduled to take place in Auckland in September.

It’ll be the latest, and likely the last, in a string of court hearings related to the high-profile case.

The helicopter company involved, Queenstown-based The Helicopter Line, was sentenced in the Queenstown District Court in March on two charges laid under the Health and Safety in Employment Act by the Civil Aviation Authority.

It was fined $47,600 and paid $365,000 in reparation, including $165,000 to the Box family.

Adelle is hopeful the coroner’s hearing will result in some recommended changes to the aviation industry as a whole.

“I think the coroner’s going to go fairly in-depth.”

Speaking to Scene last year, Adelle said the coroner was her “last hope” for further safety recommendations.

In particular, she wanted recommendations about pilot training.

This week she’s still keen to see that issue looked at.

“I’m really interested for them to explore that more.”