Westinghouse Engineers Killed in Honeymoon Helicopter Crash

Couple married Saturday at St. Mary of the Mount in Pittsburgh before departing for Hawaiian trip.

Two Westinghouse engineers who married Saturday in Pittsburgh before departing for a Hawaiian honeymoon were among five people who died Thursday in a helicopter crash on Molokai, a company spokesman said.

Nicole M. Bevilacqua and Michael Abel, both of Westmoreland County, were killed when a tour helicopter slammed into a ridge on Molokai island, killing the pilot and two other tourists on board, according to the Huffington Post.  Bevilacqua and Abel both worked for Westinghouse at its Cranberry headquarters, company spokesman Vaughn Gilbert said.

"It's a tragedy," Gilbert said. "Everyone within the Westinghouse community is heartbroken, and our hearts go out to their family.  These were two very fine young people who just started their lives."

Nicole Bevilacqua's father, Bruce Bevilacqua, of Murrysville, is a longtime Westinghouse executive who in April was named vice president of the company's Americas region, Gilbert said. Company officials and employees learned of the newlyweds' deaths earlier Friday, he said.

The couple married Saturday at St. Mary of the Mount church on Mount Washington in Pittsburgh. Gilbert on Friday was not able to determine how long they'd worked for Westinghouse.

A National Transportation Board Safety investigator was due to arrive in Hawaii to begin investigating the crash, according to the Huffington Post. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said a preliminary report typically would come within a week or two, but it could be months before the probable cause of the crash is determined, the Huffington Post said.

The Blue Hawaiian Helicopters flight was on a 45-minute aerial tour of west Maui and Molokai when it crashed Thursday, according to the Huffington Post.

The Eurocopter EC-130 was engulfed in flames after crashing about a quarter-mile from an elementary school, according to the Huffington Post. Authorities said the other passengers were from Ontario, Canada and were not involved with the ongoing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Honolulu.

The Maui Visitors Bureau was helping families of the victims, according to the Huffington Post.

Check back with Patch for updates.

Bonnie Russell November 12, 2011 at 04:19 PM
This is Exceptionally sad. I didn't know about the 'musical helicopters" component to this...but have heard rumblings for years. So I wrote about it. http://www.examiner.com/public-policy-in-san-diego/hawaiian-helicopter-tours-some-allowed-to-operate-with-no-insurance
Carolyn M. November 14, 2011 at 01:45 PM
Maddie, thank you for putting my same thoughts into words. I too feel profound sadness for the families and will hold my loved ones a little tighter and longer tonight.
tami November 14, 2011 at 05:03 PM
I grew up with Mike. He was always so kind and caring he always wanted to help everyone. He was a great guy and words still cannot express how much of a shock this is. It's a horrible tragedy but I'm sure his family is relying on god to get them through this awful time. One thing is for certain heaven gained two angels on Friday.
Carole Kearns November 16, 2011 at 01:36 AM
I only knew Nicole and Mike through crossed pathways in our lives. I am truly saddened and heart broken for this beautiful couple and their families. I think of them day and night since this tragic accident. I keep thinking how happy they must have been. My deep thoughts and prayers go out to their families. Angels in heaven, together forever.
Melody Hall December 16, 2012 at 02:31 AM
I knew Nicole and Mike because they were my cousin's. I is so sad when you loss a loved one. But now I know they are spenting the holiday's with God. They were so funny because Mike would always try to make me laugh when Nicole would leave the room to go get something.They were so cute.


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