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Family killed in helicopter crash mourned

The family of four lost in a fatal helicopter crash on New Year’s Day is being remembered by their loved ones. In a statement posted to social media, the families of Wade and Aubrey Balisky and their daughters Jewel and Fleur say they have been overwhelmed by love and support over the past few days.

“Thank you for your prayers. We need them now and will need them in the hours, days and years ahead.”

The four were in a Robertson R44 helicopter that crashed in a farmer’s field in the Birch Hills County area on January 1st. The Transportation Safety Board, NAV Canada, and Occupational Health and Safety are investigating.

Wade and Aubrey are described as loving parents who enjoyed spending time with their children. Wade was a farmer in the Grande Prairie area who loved flying, snowmobiling, river boating, and travelling, while Aubrey was an artist and photographer considered a source of constant encouragement to her family and friends. Jewel is said to have brought colour and vibrancy wherever she went and Fleur is described as the treasure of the family.

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“Wade and Aubrey loved their extended family, friends and neighbours,” the statement reads. “The coffee was always on at their farm and their door was always open. They made strangers into friends at an alarming rate and made a priority of keeping those relationships meaningful.”

Aubrey was a cousin of Grande Prairie MP Chris Warkentin, who shared his grief with his constituents as he shared the statement on behalf of his family. The Baliskys have three surviving children, Chevey, Remington and Indya.

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