His 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant also died in the fatal crash.
Today, more details become available regarding the fatal crash and about the seven other victims who were also traveling with the retired Los Angeles Lakers player.
All nine people on board took off from Orange County’s John Wayne Airport around 9 a.m. and headed north toward Kobe’s Mamba Academy in the Thousand Oaks area, where his daughter and her teammates were scheduled to play in the Mamba Cup.
“Eric took this photo from our backyard right after the accident happened where Kobe, his daughter, and other beautiful souls were lifted up to be with God for eternity,” Simpson began her lengthy Instagram post. “We could see emergency helicopters flying over our house and I felt the loss.”
She added, “I felt the power in the sky of the heavens parting to make room for the greatest of angels to rise. My heart is completely broken for all the families and loved ones left behind.”
According to an aviation source, the untimely crash of the Sikorsky-76 was likely due to the dense fog in the area.
“Typically crashes due to low visibility are a quick sudden crash because they didn’t see the ground and by the time they notice it’s too late to make movement and it just hits,” the source explained.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Josh Rubenstein said the fog was severe enough that the Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support Division “grounded its helicopters and didn’t fly until later in the afternoon.”
Rubenstein added, “The weather situation did not meet our minimum standards for flying.” The publication cites that LAPD’s flight minimums are 2 miles of visibility and an 800-foot cloud ceiling. The L.A. Times also spoke to former pilot for Island Express Helicopters, Kurt Deetz, who said that “the likelihood of a catastrophic twin-engine failure on that aircraft—it just doesn’t happen.”
Stay up to date as we learn more about the fatal helicopter crash here.
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