A helicopter crash into New York’s East River looks to have claimed the life of Newtown icon and former Madam Fling Flongs/Soni’s Restaurant owner Sonia Marra Nicholson.

Her New Zealand partner Helen Tamaki has also been left fighting for her life.

The helicopter crashed into the East River after taking off from a launch pad on the riverbank according to US media reports.

British-born Nicholson was celebrating her 40th birthday with Tamaki, her mother Harriet Nicholson and her stepfather Paul Nicholson.

“Two females are in an extremely critical condition at Bellevue Hospital and one male is in a serious but stable condition at NYU Hospital,” a New York Police Department spokesman told media.

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