Kenny Chesney Pens Heartfelt Message After Friend's Fatal Accident

Kenny Chesney is speaking out about an accident that has claimed the life of someone he loved. The 52-year-old country star posted a heart-wrenching tribute to Instagram about a helicopter crash that resulted in the death of his longtime friend, Maria Rodriguez. "Today I have to say a very hard goodbye to my friend Maria Rodriguez in the Virgin Islands. Maria and others were killed today in a helicopter crash in St. Thomas," he revealed in the caption of a photo showing the two posing in front of a helicopter.

Chesney has long shared a special relationship with the Caribbean. It seems that Rodriguez was one of the special people he met there, who helped to grow the singer's love for the land and its people. He penned his 2017 single "Love For Love City" after Hurricane Irma hit the islands (per People). "The destruction was too much, and there were too many other places that were hurting," he said of the tragedy. "When I realized the help that had to happen, I did what I could to facilitate getting things done."

Maria was a pilot that Kenny had spent time flying with

"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," Kenny Chesney continued in his tribute.

"She was always the first person I saw when I landed and the last person I said goodbye to when I would leave [the] 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. So goodbye sweet friend. I'm sure glad our paths crossed on this side. See you on the other."

There aren't a lot of details on the crash available at this time. We know that Maria Rodriguez was a pilot, but it's unclear if she was piloting the helicopter she was on at the time of the crash. The Virgin Islands Emergency Management Agency confirmed that four people had died in the accident (per ABC News).