Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, among 9 killed in a helicopter crash in California
By Artemis Moshtaghian, Chloe Melas and Darran Simon, CNN
(CNN) Basketball legend Kobe Bryant and one of his daughters were among nine people killed Sunday morning when a helicopter crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California, sources and officials said.
Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria Onore Bryant had been expected at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game scheduled for Sunday. Gianna was expected to play in the game and Bryant was expected to coach, according to Lady Mavericks team director Evelyn Morales.
The helicopter crash, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, caused a brush fire, Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby said. The crash killed all nine people aboard, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
Earlier, the sheriff’s department said five people were killed in the crash. Officials have not identified the victims.
Tony Altobelli told CNN his brother, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, 56; John’s daughter Alyssa and wife Keri were killed in the crash. Altobelli was a former assistant baseball coach at the University of Houston, the school said.
Alyssa and Gianna were teammates, Tony Altobelli said.
Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli
Christina Mauser, an assistant girls basketball coach at Harbor Day School in Corona del Mar, California, was killed in the crash, her husband Matt Mauser, wrote on his Facebook page.
“My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash,” he wrote.
LA County Fire Department Capt. Tony Imbrenda said he didn’t immediately have any information about whether the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter radioed a distress signal.
“Individuals that saw the aircraft said it was coming down at a fairly significant rate of speed and impacted the ground on the hillside,” he told reporters.
Imbrenda said he didn’t know where the helicopter took off from or where it was headed.
The helicopter was built in 1991, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. It was registered to Island Express Holding Corp, according to a FAA registry database.