Cornelius Scholtz and his wife, Magriet, pose at Christmas.
Kauai trip wedding gift for crash victims
A trip to Kauai was a wedding gift from friends to a California couple in the Heli USA crash Thursday.
Magriet Inglebrecht and Cornelius Scholtz were married in South Africa last April, but had postponed their honeymoon, said Francois Kleynhans, a high school friend of Scholtz's from Rustenburg, South Africa. They had been friends since childhood and kept in touch even after Scholtz had moved to the United States.
Inglebrecht died in the crash. Scholtz is recovering at the Queen's Medical Center.
Kleynhans said doctors are keeping him sedated.
Scholtz has broken ribs and a broken left leg that doctors placed rods into. Bleeding on his skull has stopped, and he is responsive, Kleynhans said. Another operation is expected on his back to fix two bones that have moved.
He may not yet know that his wife was killed.
Adolfo Ortega, who worked with Scholtz at CVS Pharmacy in Santa Maria, Calif., described Inglebrecht as "a warm person."
"First time I met her, you would be mesmerized by her smile," Ortega said.
Inglebrecht, a native of Namibia, Africa, had only been in the U.S. for 11 months.
A South Africa native, Scholtz arrived in the U.S. in late 2002. Ortega said he had been recruited as a pharmacist for Sav-On-Drugs, which was later bought by CVS Pharmacy. Last fall, Scholtz transferred to Rite Aid in Solvang, Calif., where he is the pharmacy manager.
Friends of Scholtz, 31, are keeping abreast of his recovery through a friend who flew in from Arizona and another friend who will fly in to be with Scholtz today.
Scholtz's mother and sister are expected to arrive in Honolulu from South Africa later this week.
Friends have also started a fund to cover his medical costs, Ortega said.
Kleynhans said that Scholtz had called him the night before he left for Hawaii. "He was very excited," he said.
Scholtz and Kleynhans graduated from the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education near Johannesburg. Scholtz later worked as a pharmacist in Namibia, Inglebrecht's hometown on the southwest coast of Africa.
Inglebrecht, who had grown up on a farm in Namibia, graduated from college in 2005 with a degree in accounting.
Scholtz waited until she graduated to marry her, visiting her every year in South Africa, said Ortega.
"She was very friendly," said Kleynhans, who had first met her at his house in South Africa in 2002. "She had a beautiful smile. She was just so kind toward my kids. They're both Christians and very strong in their faith in God."
The couple loved nature because of Inglebrecht's childhood on a farm, Kleynhans said, adding they had wanted to travel before they had kids. They hoped to buy a farm in Namibia, where Inglebrecht's parents still live, and travel between both homes.
A Kauai county spokeswoman misspelled Magriet Inglebrecht's name in previous news releases and listed Inglebrecht's age as 19. Kleynhans believes she was closer to 24.
Another couple -- James and Teri McCarty, of Cabot, Ark., were also on the flight, according to Kauai officials. Teri McCarty, 47, died in the crash. James McCarty, 48, is at Queen's.
No other information on them was available at press time last night.
Monday, March 12, 2007
» Magriet Ingelbrecht, one of the victims of the helicopter crash on Thursday, was from Namibia, Africa. An A10 story in Sunday's edition incorrectly said she was from Namibe.
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