CALABASAS, Calif. (FNN SPORTS) – ESPN reports that NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gi-Gi” Bryant, were among nine people killed in a fatal helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, California. Bryant was 41.
Bryant and his daughter, were on their way to a youth basketball game when the helicopter crashed. In a news conference, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated that there were no survivors. Villanueva and Los Angeles County chief medical examiner Dr. Jonathan Lucas, stated they expect the recovery effort to take anywhere from a couple to several days, given the condition of the crash site and the mountainous terrain. Once recovery is complete, the identification process can begin.
The cause of the crash is unknown. Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby confirmed on Sunday afternoon that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was actively on the scene and will be working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to investigate the crash. The NTSB typically issues a preliminary report within roughly 10 days of a crash resulting in a summary of what investigators have learned, while a formal ruling on the cause of a crash may take a year or more.
The Sikorsky S-76 helicopter departed from John Wayne Airport in Orange County at 9:06 a.m. PT destined for Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks. At 9:47 a.m., the first 911 call reporting the crash was made. Chief Osby said firefighters found a quarter-mile brush fire when they came on scene. Paramedics were lowered from a helicopter.
Sources confirmed to ESPN that Orange Coast College baseball coaching legend John Altobelli; his wife, Keri; their daughter, Alyssa; Christina Mauser, coach of a girls’ basketball team with Bryant; Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, a middle school student; and the pilot, Ara Zobayan, were victims of this unfortunate crash.
Samantha Nicole is a media personality and Florida National News contributor. | firstname.lastname@example.org