Woman accused of using dead chopper pilot's name to get out of road fine

The driver allegedly got Ashley Jenkinson's details from his obituary after the helicopter tragedy on the Gold Coast in January.

A Queensland driver has allegedly blamed her mobile phone fine on the helicopter pilot who died in the Sea World tragedy on the Gold Coast.

The 33-year-old from Logan, in the state’s southeast, allegedly took Ashley Jenkinson’s name and date of birth from his obituary to claim he was the motorist behind the wheel on December 15, Nine News reports.

It’s believed she nominated the 40-year-old as the driver on the Department of Transport and Main Roads website on January 9, seven days after he was killed in the crash.

Ashley Jenkinson with some children in front of a helicopter (left) and Mr Jeninson in the helicopter with another man.
Ashley Jenkinson was killed in a helicopter crash on the Gold Coast in January. Source: Facebook

The alarm was raised when the pilot’s widow, Kosha Richardson-Johnson, reportedly received the fine in the mail. Queensland Police confirmed to Yahoo News Australia on Friday morning the woman had been charged.

“A 33-year-old Ridge Park woman has been issued with a Notice to Appear (NTA) in relation to two fraud offences,” the statement read. “She is scheduled to appear in Beenleigh Magistrates Court on April 6.”

Ashley Jenkinson and his widow, Kosha Richardson-Johnson, standing in front of a helicopter (left) and the couple inside the helicopter.
An investigation into the 33-year-old woman's claim was launched when Mr Jenkinson's widow, Kosha Richardson-Johnson, received the fine in the mail. Source: Facebook

Outcry on social media

There was an outcry on social media after reports of the allegations surfaced with people calling for a heavy penalty if the woman is found guilty.

Mr Jenkinson was among four people who died on January 2 when two helicopters collided mid-air before plummeting onto a sandbar on the Gold Coast. Nine others were injured in the crash. A full report into the tragedy by the Air Transport Safety Bureau isn’t expected until at least September 2024.

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