Miami Businessman, 71, Identified as Victim in Fatal Helicopter Crash

Tragedy struck just outside Miami Executive Airport as a helicopter crash claimed the life of Clement Zanzuri, 71, who was piloting the aircraft, while his daughter, Jordan Zanzuri, 27, miraculously swam to safety.

The single-engine Hughes 369 took off from Fort Myers with Clement at the controls and Jordan as the sole passenger. 

Witnesses recounted seeing the helicopter spiral before plummeting into a canal, just a mere three miles short of the airport. 

Prompt 911 calls alerted authorities, but it was Jordan’s emergence from the canal, frantically seeking help for her trapped father, that directed responders to the crash site.

Miami Detective Alvaro Zabaleta recounted the harrowing scene, stating, “That’s when divers went into the water to search for an additional person.”

Rescuers managed to extricate Clement from the wreckage and initiate CPR on the canal bank. 

Despite the rescuers’ efforts, Clement was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Jackson Memorial South Trauma Center. 

Meanwhile, Jordan was receiving treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.

Clement Zanzuri held the position of president at Stoneworks Inc., a Miami-based supplier specializing in countertops for kitchens and bathrooms. 

His daughter, a recent graduate from Columbia University, had been actively involved in her father’s company, dedicating nearly three years to the business.

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Helicopter Crash Claims Life of Businessman

miami-businessman-71-identified-victim-fatal-helicopter-crash
Tragedy struck just outside Miami Executive Airport as a helicopter crash claimed the life of Clement Zanzuri, 71, who was piloting the aircraft, while his daughter, Jordan Zanzuri, 27, miraculously swam to safety.

Jordan, also a LSAT coach, shared a touching Instagram post of her father proudly celebrating her graduation, showcasing their close bond.

Eyewitness Vivian Alvarez described the alarming moments leading up to the crash. 

“We saw a chopper very low, very low, and actually, directly, right behind where it happened,” Alvarez stated. “It was flying very low. That’s how, initially, I realized something was happening. 

Soon thereafter, there were like five helicopters. It’s pretty scary that something like that happened around here.”

Recovery crews employed a crane to retrieve the wreckage near 187th Avenue and SW 122nd Street on Thursday morning. 

The Miami-Dade Police Department’s Homicide Bureau and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have initiated investigations into the crash.

Peter C. Knudson from the NTSB outlined the comprehensive approach to the investigation.

“NTSB investigations involve three primary areas: the pilot, the aircraft, and the operating environment,” he explained to the Miami Herald. 

Knudson indicated that they would scrutinize flight data, air traffic control communications, maintenance records, weather conditions, the pilot’s qualifications and behavior preceding the flight, and various witness statements to ascertain the crash’s cause.

The community mourns the loss of Clement Zanzuri, a respected businessman, while Jordan Zanzuri’s survival amid the tragic incident stands as a testament to the fragility and unpredictability of life.

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