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The Latest: Colorado politics consultant dead in Kenya crash

March 4, 2019

DENVER (AP) — The Latest on a helicopter crash in Kenya (all times local):

4 p.m.

A Colorado man who was one of four Americans killed in a helicopter crash in Kenya is being remembered as an adventurer.

Kyle Forti’s brother, Josh Forti, said the 29-year-old loved to travel and was in Kenya with friends.

Family and friends said Forti worked as a political consultant in Colorado and co-founded a political communications firm in 2015. He worked as campaign manager for Brian Watson, the GOP candidate for treasurer, in 2018.

Watson called Forti’s death “a tragic loss.”

He is survived by a wife and 5-year-old son.

Forti was among five people killed including the pilot when the helicopter crashed Sunday on an island on Lake Turkana.

Kenya’s Civil Aviation Authority says an investigation is under way.

The United States Embassy confirmed the Americans’ deaths.

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2:45 p.m.

One of four Americans killed in a helicopter crash in Kenya was a self-made entrepreneur based in Southern California.

Brandon Stapper founded several companies, including a San Diego graphics firm where his employees considered him a role model.

Cole Canedy, an executive at 858 Graphics, says Monday that Stapper was a boss who treated his staff like friends.

SanDiego.com listed Stapper among the city’s “Top 10 Entrepreneurs To Watch” in 2015 when he was 29.

Stapper was among five people killed including the pilot when the helicopter crashed Sunday on an island on Lake Turkana.

Kenya’s Civil Aviation Authority says an investigation is under way.

The United States Embassy confirmed the Americans’ deaths but referred further questions to Kenyan authorities.

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12:45 p.m. Monday

Kenyan police say four Americans and a local pilot are dead after their helicopter crashed on an island in Lake Turkana in the north.

The internal police report seen by The Associated Press says the crash occurred Sunday evening in Central Island National Park as two helicopters took off after a visit to the Lobolo tented camp.

The United States Embassy confirms the deaths of the four Americans and the names of three of them: Anders Asher Jesiah Burke, Brandon Howe Stapper and Kyle John Forti. The embassy refers further questions to Kenyan authorities.

The police report does not say what caused the crash.

Last month three Americans were among five people killed when their plane crashed as they were heading to Lodwar near Lake Turkana.

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