National Basketball Association (NBA) legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning in Calabasas City. He was 41.
Reports said his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Maria “Gigi” Bryant, who was with him for a trip to a basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, also died in the crash.
Speaking at a press conference hours after the crash, Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby said Bryant was aboard his private chopper, a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter, with his daughter and other passengers when fire broke out and crashed along the hilly Calabasas area.
The crash that occurred around 10:00 in the morning amid foggy conditions in the hills, sparked bush fires that spread to a quarter of an acre, which hampered initial rescue efforts, Osby said.
Rescuers reported no survivors when they arrived at the crash site.
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the flight manifest recorded nine people, including the pilot, aboard the helicopter. Investigation continues as to the identities of other victims, the sheriff said.
Bryant, who is a Philadelphia native, started playing basketball when he was 3 years old and went on to become one of NBA’s greatest champions. He won five NBA championships and two Olympic gold medals for men’s basketball.
He retired from NBA in April 2016.
Bryant was married to Vanessa Bryant and they had four children– Bianka, Gianna, Natalia, and the youngest Capri, who was born in June 2019.