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Kobe Bryant, 41, dead in helicopter crash along with 13-year-old daughter and 7 others

Kobe Bryant stands ready to shoot a free throw during Tuesday nights pre-season game against the Golden State Warriors in 2005. (Marine Sgt. Joseph A. Lee / Released)
January 26, 2020

Former NBA star Kobe Bryant died Sunday after his private helicopter crashed over Calabasas, Calif.

Bryant was one of nine people on the helicopter when it crashed, CBS News reported. Emergency responders did not find any survivors from the wreckage.

Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also reportedly killed in the crash.

Also killed in the crash were two of Giana Bryant’s classmates, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, who were described as talented young athletes. Altobelli’s parents, John and Keri Altobelli were also killed, along with Chester’s mother, Sarah Chester. Pilot Ara Zobyan and high school basketball coach Christina Mauser were also killed.

All of the passengers were en route to a basketball game.

Bryant was 41 and had been known to commute by helicopter for years. He often flew in his Sikorsky S-76, which was identified in the crash.

KUSI-TV News initially reported a helicopter crashed into a Calabasas hillside around 9:47 a.m. local time. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesman Allen Kenitzer described the helicopter in question as a Sikorsky S-76.

Local sheriff’s officials reported no survivors and that the crash had caused a small brush fire but that it was quickly put out.

The helicopter crashed into a hillside amid dense foggy conditions, which is suspected to be a primary cause of the crash. Other aircraft had been grounded in the area, including helicopters belonging to local law enforcement agencies.

Bryant had been a veteran of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA team and over a 20-year career had won five NBA championships. He also made 18 All-Star teams, won two NBA Finals MVP awards and the league MVP award in 2008.

Beyond basketball Bryant also won an Oscar in 2018 for his short film “Dear Basketball.”

Just the day before the crash, Bryant tweeted congratulations to fellow Laker LeBron James, who surpassed Bryant’s career record of 33,643 points, to become the third all time highest scoring NBA player.

The tweet was Bryant’s last before the helicopter crash Sunday.

This article has been updated to include the most up-to-date information on the victims and their identities.