Kenny Chesney is grieving the loss of his longtime friend Maria Rodriguez following a tragic helicopter crash in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The singer shared the sad news on social media late Monday (Feb. 15) evening alongside several photos of him and his “sweet friend.”
Chesney acknowledged that it was a “very hard goodbye,” as she was the first person he saw upon landing on the Island and the last person he said goodbye to.
“Maria and others were killed today in a helicopter crash in St. Thomas,” Chesney shared. “She was a dear friend to me and to our island community. I have been flying with Maria for over 15 years and we shared a lot of laughs and a lot of life together. She was always the first person I saw when I landed and the last person I said goodbye to when I would leave island. I’m sure going to miss that. It’s fair to say I won’t ever be able to go to the Virgin Islands again without feeling the loss of her. She was such a huge part of my island life.
According to a news report by St. Thomas Source, “a helicopter crash in the Botany Bay area Monday afternoon took four lives, the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency confirmed, but little else had been released officially about the incident as of Monday evening.”
The report also read, “four people and the pilot were aboard the craft when it left the Cyril E. King Airport Monday afternoon for the short trip to the western end of St. Thomas.”
Sending condolences to Rodriguez’ family and friends.