Helicopter crash victims identified as parents, two children in family of seven

Four people who died in a helicopter crash on New Year’s Day are being identified by loved ones as members of a strong and loving farm family from a small community in northern Alberta.

The families of 45-year-old Wade Balisky and 37-year-old Aubrey Balisky said in a joint statement that they are grappling with the loss of the couple and two of their children, eight-year-old Jewel and two-year-old Fleur.

READ MORE: 4 dead after New Year’s Day helicopter crash in northern Alberta

The family said Wade and Aubrey are survived by their three other children, 16-year-old Chevey, 14-year-old Remington and 12-year-old Indya.

The family lived together in the small farming community of DeBolt, Alta., about 45 kilometres east of Grande Prairie.

RCMP have said emergency responders received an emergency signal from a Robinson R44 helicopter and arrived to find the aircraft crashed in a field in nearby Birch Hills county with no survivors.

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Investigators convene on a deadly helicopter crash site in a farmer's field in Birch Hills County, Alta. on Sunday Jan. 3, 2021. First responders and members of a tight-knit community in northwestern Alberta reacted with shock and sadness on Saturday after a deadly helicopter crash in their midst that killed four members of the same family. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Beauchamp.
Investigators convene on a deadly helicopter crash site in a farmer’s field in Birch Hills County, Alta. on Sunday Jan. 3, 2021. First responders and members of a tight-knit community in northwestern Alberta reacted with shock and sadness on Saturday after a deadly helicopter crash in their midst that killed four members of the same family. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Beauchamp.
Investigators convene on a deadly helicopter crash site in a farmer's field in Birch Hills County, Alta. on Sunday Jan. 3, 2021. First responders and members of a tight-knit community in northwestern Alberta reacted with shock and sadness on Saturday after a deadly helicopter crash in their midst that killed four members of the same family. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Beauchamp.
Investigators convene on a deadly helicopter crash site in a farmer’s field in Birch Hills County, Alta. on Sunday Jan. 3, 2021. First responders and members of a tight-knit community in northwestern Alberta reacted with shock and sadness on Saturday after a deadly helicopter crash in their midst that killed four members of the same family. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Beauchamp.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

“We have been devastated by our sudden loss of Wade, Aubrey, Jewel and Fleur,” the Balisky and Warkentin families said in a joint statement.

“Chevey, Remington and Indya will need your prayers, love and support as they grapple with the loss of their father, mother and sisters. They know that they were loved and are loved.”

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