BasketBall Legend Kobe Byrant Dies In Helicopter Crash Alongside His Daughter, 5 Others

By Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera

Nine people died in the helicopter crash that killed basketball legend Kobe Bryant — including his daughter, Gianna, and her basketball teammate.

While police have not released the names of the people on board, family members of some victims have confirmed their loved ones’ deaths. Here are the emerging names and faces:

John Altobelli speaking to players.
John Altobelli speaking to players.

Altobelli family:

Orange Coast College (OCC) baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri and daughter, Alyssa were aboard the helicopter, said Altobelli’s brother Tony.

Gianna and Alyssa were teammates at the Mamba Academy, and Altobelli would “routinely” fly with his daughter to attend the games, said OCC assistant coach Ron La Ruffa.

Altobelli, 56, leaves behind a son and daughter, according to an OCC Pirate Athletics news release.

“There were two sides to John,” Tony Altobelli said. “People saw him on the baseball field, he’s gritty and tough as nails kind of guy but the other side of him, he was one of the biggest-hearted people you’ll meet in your life. He cared about his players, cared about his school.”

A coach and mother:

Christina Mauser, an assistant girls basketball school at a K-8 private school in Orange County also died in the crash.

“My kids and I are devastated,” her husband, Matt Mauser, wrote on Facebook. “We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash. Please respect our privacy. Thank you for all the well wishes they mean so much.”

Here’s what you need to know

People gather around a makeshift memorial for Kobe Bryant in front of Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 26, 2020.
People gather around a makeshift memorial for Kobe Bryant in front of Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 26, 2020. APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images

Basketball icon Kobe Bryant died on Sunday in a helicopter crash, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

Here’s what happened:

  • Fatal crash: Bryant and his daughter were among 9 people in the helicopter who died when it crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California. Bryant and Gianna had been expected at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game.
  • The other victims: Officials have not identified the victims, but some victims’ loved ones are coming forward. Tony Altobelli told CNN his brother, Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, John’s daughter Alyssa and wife Keri were killed in the crash. Christina Mauser, an assistant girls basketball coach at Harbor Day School, was also killed, her husband said.
  • Bad flying weather: There was extremely low visibility at the time of the crash, with foggy, cloudy conditions. LA Police grounded its helicopters Sunday morning, and a police spokesperson said the weather conditions did not meet the minimum standards for flying.
  • Ongoing investigation: The Federal Aviation Authority, National Transportation Safety Board, and FBI are investigating the crash.
  • The world mourns: Bryant’s death sparked an outpouring of grief and tributes around the world — everyone from current and former NBA players, to fans worldwide and even former President Barack Obama.
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Source: cnn.com

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