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Kobe Bryant, Daughter Gianna Die in Helicopter Crash

N.B.A. superstar Kobe Bryant, 41, and his daughter Gianna were among nine people in a helicopter that crashed in Calabasas, Calif.

Source: Instagram (@kobebryant)

Repost from CBS Sports:

Kobe Bryant died Sunday morning in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. He was 41. The former Los Angeles Lakers legend and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among those killed in the crash, according to multiple reports.

An investigation is ongoing, per the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which confirmed there were no survivors among the nine people aboard the aircraft but would not release the names of those who perished in the crash. However, Orange Coast College baseball coaching legend John Altobelli, as well as his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, were among the victims of the crash, according to a statement from the school. Altobelli coached at Orange Coast College for 27 years, and he led the school to four state titles.

Here is what has been confirmed so far:

  • The crash happened just before 10 a.m. PT
  • Nine confirmed deaths and no survivors
  • In addition to Bryant and his Gianna, John Altobelli, a baseball coach at Orange Coast College, was onboard alongside his wife and daughter
  • A brush fire caused by the crash prevented first responders from immediately getting to the site
  • Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby: “The Los Angeles County Fire Department’s initial response was 15 pieces of apparatus and 56 personnel.”

Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby: “At 9:47 a.m. the Los Angeles County Fire Department received a 911 call of a potential helicopter down and a brush fire…Upon arrival, our firefighters discovered approximately a quarter-acre brush fire that resulted from a crash on the hillside.”

Bryant, an NBA superstar and Orange County resident, famously took a helicopter to games and practices while playing for the Lakers as a means of avoiding traffic and the confined space of a car. He continued doing so in his retirement for business and personal reasons. Bryant and his daughter were reportedly on their way to participate in travel basketball when the helicopter went down. Gianna, nicknamed “Gigi,” inherited her father’s love of the sport and hoped to one day play in the WNBA.

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