Zimbabwe: Bennett, Wife Die in Helicopter Crash

Charles Burnett was hosting a party travelling to New Mexico when their helicopter crashed

Charles Burnett was hosting a party travelling to New Mexico when their helicopter crashed

Zimbabweans have been expressing their sadness on social media over the death of Roy and Heather Bennett. Andra Cobb's 67-year-old father, Paul, of Conroe, Texas, was the co-pilot and her longtime boyfriend, Charles Burnett III, 61, of Houston, also was killed, loved ones and authorities said.

The group was heading to the Emery Gap Ranch, a sprawling, mountainous property that was purchased by Burnett in 2017.

State Police, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the Colfax County Sheriff's Department were then sent to search for the crash site.

Police said on they received a call at 6pm local time on January 17 about a downed helicopter.

Lt. Elizabeth Armijo confirmed the five deaths and one injury about 14 hours after the helicopter went down about 6 p.m. Wednesday about 15 miles (24 kilometers) east of the small city of Raton near the Colorado state line.

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Cobb says her daughter described escaping the helicopter before it burst into flames. Hill and Cobb's wife, Martha, said the co-pilot had survived being shot down while flying a helicopter in the Vietnam War.

Key Zimbabwean resistance pioneer Roy Bennett was one of five individuals killed when a helicopter slammed in a sloping area of New Mexico, police said Thursday. His wife was also among the causalities.

Bennett, one of the few prominent white politicians in Zimbabwe, was a popular figure among the voters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party which is led by Morgan Tsvangirai. I am devastated - they were two of Zimbabwe's greatest compatriots. He told of the mistreatment of fellow prisoners, some of whom he said had starved to death in their cells.

Bennett has served as MDC's treasurer general and was appointed deputy of Zimbabwe's agricultural minister, but the country's long-time strongman Robert Mugabe refused to swear him in.

Bennett had been a member of the British South Africa Police and the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe. He also criticized his former party for allegedly enjoying the comforts of government while ordinary Zimbabweans suffered.

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