Dean James at Right Wing Tribune
BREAKING NEWS! It is with great sadness to report that NBA legend was reportedly among those killed in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday. He was 41.
Bryant was on a helicopter flying over Calabasas a city of 23,000 people located about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, Fox News reports. TMZ Sports first reported that Bryant was killed in the crash. ESPN and ABC Los Angeles also confirmed the report of Bryant’s death.
A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived. 5 people are confirmed dead. We’re told Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.
Eyewitnesses also tell us that they heard the helicopter’s engine sputtering before it went down. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Kobe has famously used a helicopter to travel for years — dating back to when he played for the Lakers. He was known for commuting from Newport Beach, CA to the STAPLES Center in DTLA in his Sikorsky S-76 chopper.
The Federal Aviation Administration told Fox News the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed under “unknown circumstances.” The FAA said it was informed by local authorities there five people onboard at the time. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said all five had died.
It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10:00 this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt. The FAA and NTSB are investigating.
— City of Calabasas (@CityofCalabasas) January 26, 2020
The identities of the other passengers were not immediately released.
There are conflicting reports as to if some of his daughters were in the chopper.
Images from the scene showed smoke rising from a hillside amid foggy conditions.
Art Marrujo, a dispatch supervisor with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, told the Associated Press that firefighters worked to douse flames that spread through about an acre of dry brush.
Around the time of the crash, L.A. Times reporter Richard Winton reported that the mountains were “fogged in.”
Retired NBA star Kobe Bryant, a basketball prodigy who went on to win five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, died in a helicopter crash in California https://t.co/9lxGzVSHLs pic.twitter.com/7oIjDfzST4
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 26, 2020
Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 seasons and won five NBA championships. He is routinely called one of the greatest players to ever play in the NBA.
He finished his career as an 18-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA team, 12-time All-NBA Defensive Team selection, two time NBA Finals MVP and the 2008 NBA MVP.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kobe’s family, friends and fans.
Rest in peace champ and thanks for the great memories.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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Dean James at Right Wing Tribune
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