Cline, who would turn 61 the next day, intended to celebrate Independence Day with family and friends on his private estate island in the Bahamas.
According to the New York Post, Kameron Cline, 22, suffered an “unspecified medical issue,” whereupon her father broke off festivities in the middle of the night, and rushed his daughter by helicopter to a Fort Lauderdale hospital on Florida’s mainland, some 135 miles away.
Shortly after take-off, some two miles off the coast, the aircraft plunged into the Bahamian Sea at about 2 am, leaving all seven passengers dead.
A witness, Mathien McIntosh, who worked for Cline, recalled the horrifying moment that divers recovered the victims’ bodies from the sunken wreckage.
It “didn’t get very high,” McIntosh said, according to the New York Post. “It went up and in about five it just ‘boop.’ The light just disappeared and it was a loud crash. It was a loud bang in the water.”
McIntosh said he was searching for the wreck when it was found, according to CBS, some 16 feet below sea level on the ocean floor.
“Everybody just was in a daze. Man, it was just tears, you know? It was just tears,” McIntosh said. “Mr. Cline actually … was one of the first ones that came out” of the water, he added.
“Just then, a kid came out. It was four kids and they were about 19 to 21 years of age, kids in their prime. They had just graduated from college and came home to have fun and then boom; here today and gone tomorrow,” he recalled.
Mysteriously, according to the Post, local man McGarrett Russell, whose son had dived for the wreck and witnessed the scene, said the victims were still strapped to their seats while the pilot’s hands were still on the controls.
Moreover, all the bodies were still intact. Nobody seemed to have made an effort to escape from their seats or tried to make their way out of the helicopter just before or after the crash.
The cause of the crash is still subject to investigation. Weather conditions were fine at the time time of the crash, so that couldn’t have been an issue.
Apart from Chris Cline, a billionaire executive and philanthropist who donated to President Donald Trump, six other Americans were killed in the July 4 crash.
Family members later confirmed that Kameron Kline died in the crash. The 22-year-old had recently graduated from Louisiana State University.
Billionaire Chris Cline’s daughter and her three college graduate best friends who all died with the coal tycoon and two other men in Bahamas helicopter crash. The cause of the crash remains unclear and i.
The bodies arrived on shore in a police boat on Thursday night pic.twitter.com/bTtWQWRJgi
— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) July 5, 2019
Other victims were named as Brittney Searson, Delaney Wykle, and David Jude.
Searson was a close friend of Kameron Kline’s who attended the same university, reported the Palm Beach Post. The pair were “inseparable” and “just terrific,” a social studies teacher at the Benjamin School, where the girls went to school earlier in life, said in a statement. Searson’s mother Kimberly Searson said her daughter was Kameron’s roommate.
Profiles for Delaney Wykle on Facebook and Twitter said that she was a student at West Virginia University. Wykle’s father Paul Wykle told the Post that she had graduated from the university with a nursing degree and had “passed her boards” just two days before she died.
Jude was a corporate pilot for Chris Cline that was described as his “right-hand guy.”
The two other people who died were identified as an unnamed mechanic and Jillian Clark, another recent graduate of Louisiana State University.
Zachary Stieber and Jack Philips contributed to this report.