CALABASAS, CA - NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California on Sunday.
The aircraft went down in Calabasas, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Early reports indicate that nine people were aboard the helicopter. According to the Associated Press and other national news sources, among the presumed dead was a “Southern California community college baseball coach, John Altobelli of Orange Coast College, his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, who played on the same basketball team as Bryant’s daughter, Gianna (age 13)”.
Kobe Bryant spent his entire 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in 2016 after scoring 60 points in his final NBA game. When Bryant retired, he was the third-leading scorer in NBA history.
Bryant frequently used a helicopter as a mode of travel. Even during his years playing in the NBA, he would take his helicopter from home to games, saying “it was quicker”, and his “body felt better” verses riding in a a road vehicle through L.A. traffic.
The cause of the crash was unknown, and remains under investigation. An official news release from authorities on the names of the deceased will likely come Monday, or sometime early in the week ahead.
The National Transportation Safety Board was sending a team of investigators to the site. The NTSB will issue a preliminary report within about 10 days.
A ruling on the exact cause of the accident will likely take a year or more.
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