Kobe Bryant, 41, the legendary Los Angeles Laker basketball player nicknamed “Black Mamba,” his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others died after the helicopter in which they were traveling crashed in the hills above Calabasas and burst into flames the morning of Jan. 26. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and 13-year-old daughter, Alyssa, who played on a club basketball team with Bryant’s daughter, were among the victims as was Christina Mauser, Bryant’s top assistant coach on the travel team.
Our deepest condolences go out to all families that lost loved ones in this horrific and devastating crash. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. The Bryant family members are long-time Newport Beach residents.
Bryant was scheduled to coach in a game at his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks and was en route to the center when the helicopter crashed. The crash occurred near Las Virgenes Road and Willow Glen Street in Calabasas. Officials received a 911 call and firefighters arrived to find that the crash had ignited a brush fire in the hills. The authorities said it was extremely foggy in the area when the crash occurred.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the incident. The helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76B built in 1991, left John Wayne Airport in Orange County. The fog was so severe that morning that the LAPD grounded its helicopters according to the department’s spokesman who added the weather did not meet their minimum standards for flying. Sikorsky, the chopper’s manufacturer has said it is cooperating with the NTSB’s investigation.
The Newport Beach personal injury attorneys at Bisnar Chase understand that not just our community, county and region, but the entire nation and world mourn the loss of a legend. Seven others including the pilot of the chopper were also killed in a helicopter crash
. NTSB is investigating this crash, but it could take several months or even a whole year for the agency to release its findings.
There are still a number of unanswered questions here. What caused this helicopter crash? Did the dense fog play a part? Was there a helicopter or part defect or malfunction that contributed to this crash? Who made the decision to fly the chopper in foggy conditions? We trust officials to look into these issues in order to determine precisely what caused this horrific and devastating tragedy.