Grand Canyon crash: Fundraising drive reaches £10,000 after just 24 hours

Jonathan Udall, 32, and his wife Ellie Milward, 29, are fighting for their lives after their honeymoon turned to a tragedy when the helicopter plummeted into the canyon and went up in flames.

The newlyweds’ friends, Jason Hill, 32, a solicitor from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, his brother Stuart Hill, 30, a car salesman and Stuart’s girlfriend Becky Dobson, 27, a vet’s receptionist, both from Worthing, West Sussex, were killed in the accident at the sightseeing spot in Arizona.

Jason’s girlfriend, Jennifer Barham, 39, and American pilot Scott Booth, 42, are also in hospital.

It took rescue crews eight hours to get to the remote crash site following Saturday’s horrific accident during a storm.

Now, a friend of Birmingham-based Mr Udall, Chris Tucker has launched a crowdfunding page in a bid to help the newlyweds by supporting their recovery process.

Within hours the initial £10,000 target set by Mr Tucker was smashed by generous well-wishers who this morning had raised over £14,000.

Donations continue to flood in and Mr Tucker, from Fareham, Hampshire, said he is overwhelmed by the enormous’ support the Just Giving page has received.

He said: “Our dearest friends Jon Udall and Ellie Milward have been involved in a tragic accident whilst honeymooning in Las Vegas.

“They are both currently in critical condition and their parents are travelling out to be by their sides. During this terrible time we want to try to do what we can to help all affected through this terrible situation.

“We believe donating whatever we can will help relieve any unexpected financial stress and let all involved focus on the important thing, the speedy recovery of this lovely couple.”

He added: “The amount of support hitting this page is enormous and overwhelming, thank you everyone.” Mr Udall’s father Philip Udall, from Hedge End, Hampshire, is preparing to fly out to the US.

He added: “We are desperate for news. We don’t know much more than what’s being reported online at the moment.”

The crash took place during a storm on the Hualapai Nation reservation near the Grand Canyon’s West Rim, around 5.20pm local time on Saturday.

Dramatic images of the crash site show the wreckage lying at the bottom of a canyon, engulfed in flames, and show a survivor scrambling to safety.