Kobe Bryant among 9 killed in California helicopter crash

Posted at 12:38 PM, Jan 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-27 09:01:12-05

CALABASAS, Calif. – Kobe Bryant was one of nine people killed in a helicopter crash in southern California on Sunday. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also on board and did not survive, according to reports.

The two were on board the aircraft when it went down in Calabasas around 10 a.m. PST. Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife, was not aboard.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office says there were no survivors in the crash on a hillside near the intersection of Las Virgenes Road and Willow Glen Street.

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A Southern California community college baseball coach, his wife and daughter were among those killed in the crash as well, according to the Associated Press.

The younger brother of Orange Coast College coach John Altobelli confirmed the deaths as relatives, friends and players gathered at the school's baseball field Sunday afternoon. Flowers and baseball caps were placed on home plate.

John Altobelli's brother, Tony, is the sports information director at the school. He said his 56-year-old brother died along with his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, who was about 13 and played on the same basketball team as Bryant's daughter, Gianna.

John Altobelli was entering his 28th season as coach at the community college in Costa Mesa, California. The team won a state championship last year and John Altobelli was named national coach of the year.

Four other people killed in the crash have not yet been identified.

TMZ and CNN are reporting that the group were en route to the Mamba Academy in nearby Thousand Oaks for a basketball game when the crash occurred. Bryant had been coaching his daughter's middle school basketball team after retiring from basketball in 2016.

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Bryant is considered one of the best basketball players of all time, having won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. He also earned gold medals as a member of the U.S. men's basketball team in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Before his passing, Bryant tweeted on Saturday, congratulating Lebron James on passing him as the third all-time scorer in the NBA.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

This story is breaking and will be updated as more information becomes available.