Jack Fenton: Sister of Briton killed by helicopter blade says ‘someone should be punished’ for tragedy

Jack was shy family man ‘loved by everyone,’ his sister Daisy said

Thomas Kingsley
Wednesday 27 July 2022 18:59 BST
Related: US Osprey helicopter crashes into USS Green Bay killing three Marines

The sister of a British man killed after being hit by a helicopter blade in Greece has demanded someone is punished following the tragic incident.

Jack Fenton, 22, was alighting a Bell 407 helicopter at a private airport in Athens when he was hit by the aircraft’s rear rotor, killing him instantly.

The social media firm junior executive was returning from a holiday in Mykonos and was scheduled to take a flight to Britain after the helicopter ride.

Daisy Fenton, 20, denied reported claims by Greek authorities, that Jack ran back to the helicopter and refused to listen to calls for him to stop.

Daisy (L) said Jack (R) was a family man loved by everyone
Daisy (L) said Jack (R) was a family man loved by everyone (Jack Fenton)

“Jack is not a 10-year-old, he’s 22, if someone shouted at him to stop he wouldn’t keep going,” Daisy told The Independent.

“No one said to stop, he just walked around the back, no one knew he did it. No one knows why, we don’t know if he forgot something or was going around to the other side but obviously it was dark and it hit the back of his head,” she said.

Daisy said the aircraft staff told the passengers to get off the helicopter while the propellers were still running.

“It was Jack’s first time in a helicopter, they let them out while it was still running. It’s only right that charges are pressed and there’s some sort of punishment,” Daisy said.

“It’s only fair that because they didn’t give instructions.”

Daisy said Jack had been on holiday with his friends at the time of the incident while the family was at home in the UK when they received the heartbreaking news.

Jack with his father Miguel (R) and sister Daisy (L)
Jack with his father Miguel (R) and sister Daisy (L) (Daisy Fenton)

Ioannis Kandyllis, president of Greece’s committee for aviation accidents, which is investigating the incident, said witnesses he spoke to described Mr Fenton holding a phone to his ear as he headed back towards the helicopter.

“All four passengers had disembarked and were escorted to a private lounge awaiting a private flight for London,” Mr Kandyllis said.

“But as they were in the lounge the victim broke away and returned to the tarmac, rushing to the helicopter at a fast pace. Witnesses we spoke to said he had a phone to his ear and was walking to the aircraft quickly, defying ground crew shouting to him, ‘Stop! Stop!’

“Within seconds the tragic accident occurred. It was horrific.”

Friends and family have paid tribute to Jack
Friends and family have paid tribute to Jack (Supplied)

But Jack Stanton-Gleaves, 20, was in the helicopter with the victim and rubbished claims he was on his phone adding that no instructions were given.

He told MailOnline that passengers disembarked on their own and were not escorted to a private lounge. Instead, the accident happened before the lounge was reached, he claims.

Daisy, a student at the University of Manchester, also questioned why her brother would try to get a selfie at the back of the helicopter while it was dark.

Jack was hit by the blade of a Bell-407 helicopter
Jack was hit by the blade of a Bell-407 helicopter (Creative Commons)

In tribute to her brother, Daisy said: “He was honestly the loveliest boy. He was a bit on the shy side, everyone loved him because he was there for a chat, he was a family man. It’s such a shame – he was such a great boy.”

The family now awaiting the return of Jack’s remains.

According to local reports, the pilot and two ground technicians have appeared before a prosecutor, testifying in connection to the incident, and were subsequently released.

“All three face charges of negligent homicide,” a spokesman for the Greek police said. “How the accident happened is still under investigation. It was a very unfortunate incident. We hope that the British man’s family will stay strong.”

Mr Fenton’s friends are understood to have given evidence to investigators and local media said all three had returned to the UK.

The investigation is expected to probe why the helicopter’s engine was still on when the passengers came off.

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in Greece and are in contact with the local authorities.”

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