On Sunday, a helicopter crash claimed the lived of 9 people, including NBA great Kobe Bryant.
As officials work to determine the cause of the fatal crash, the victims have been identified as:
- Alyssa Altobelli,13
- John Altobelli, 56
- Keri Altobelli
- Gianna Bryant, 13
- Kobe Bryant, 41
- Payton Chester
- Sarah Chester
- Christina Mauser
- Ara Zobayan
The Sikorsky S-76 aircraft, flown by Zobayan, Bryant’s private pilot, went down in foggy conditions. Local police agencies grounded their helicopters around the same time, Huff Post reports.
More about the victims:
John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli
“Former University of Houston baseball player John Altobelli and two members of his family were among the nine people killed in the helicopter crash that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant on Sunday,” reports the Houston Chronicle.
Altobelli and his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, were all killed in the crash.
Alyssa played on the same basketball team as Bryant’s daughter, Gianna. Kobe Bryant mentioned her in a November Instagram post.
Incredible sadness in So Cal & beyond over the loss of the Altobelli’s-onboard the chopper w #kobebryant. 13 yo Alyssa was a player on the Mambas. All 8 passengers were from #OrangeCounty headed to girls basketball tourney @cbsla #cbsla @orangecoast pic.twitter.com/L7sMzEew1G
— michele gile (@CBSmichelegile) January 27, 2020
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Orange Coast College head baseball coach John Altobelli. He was a coach, a colleague, a mentor and a friend at OCC for 27 years.
— Orange Coast College (@orangecoast) January 26, 2020
Gianna and KobeBryant
From CBS News:
An 18-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist who won five NBA championships,was the league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion. He also won an Academy Award in 2018 for his contributions to “Dear Basketball,” an animated short about his relationship to the game.
Bryant’s 13-year old daughter Gianna was among those killed. Gianna — often called “Gigi” — was the second oldest of Bryant’s four daughters. Bryant had coached Gianna’s AAU basketball team out of his Mamba Sports Academy training facility in Thousand Oaks for the past two years.
“Gianna was ‘hellbent” on playing for Geno Auriemma, the longtime coach of the famed women’s basketball team at the University of Connecticut — and, one day, for the WNBA, Bryant said,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
View this post on Instagram
RIP Legend! 💔 So painful to know that the family lost a dad and a daughter in the tragic crash. Gone too soon! . #kobe #kobebryant #gigi #art #illustration #sketch #illustrator #artwork #artist #like #follow #comment #paint #painting #nba #lakers #lakersnation #tribute #basketball #mamba #mambaforever #mambacita #ripmamba #rip #ripkobe #riplegend #ripgigi #gianna #mambaforever #giannabryant
View this post on Instagram
She can’t pray right now — So let us pray for her.. She has no strength right now — So let’s hold her up and show her LOVE ❤️ . Hug and kiss the ones you love often, you truly never know when it’s the last time — Thank God always for even the simplest blessing like returning home safe at the end of the day 🙏 . Rest in Paradise @kobebryant, GiGi, & the 7 others on board 🕯 . #kobebryant #vanessabryant #gigibryant #mambamentality #mambacita #mamba #mambasportsacademy #prayersneeded #prayers #prayersup #mondaymorning
Sarah and Payton Chester
“Also killed in the crash were Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, a middle school student, sources confirmed to ESPN. Riley Chester, Payton’s brother, posted a tribute to his family on Instagram on Sunday, writing, ‘Rest in Peace to the most amazing Mother and sister. I love you Pay Pay and Mom RIP,'” ESPN reported.
In a tribute on Facebook. Todd Schmidt wrote:
“As folks mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant, I want to take a moment to remember two gorgeous human beings who were with him, Sarah and Payton Chester…
“As a principal, we work with some amazing families…the Chesters were one of those…engaged, supportive, encouraging, and full of mischief and laughter…and they had the best kiddos!
“This family made such a huge impact at Harbor View…they were genuine, kind-hearted, and caring…to the staff, to other families…and yes, especially to me.
“While the world mourns the loss of a dynamic athlete and humanitarian, I mourn the loss of two people just as important…their impact was just as meaningful, their loss will be just as keenly felt, and our hearts are just as broken.
“You were both the embodiment of #hvepride, and the world is just a little less without you both in it. May you both Rest In Peace and know the deep impact you had on our lives. You will be so sorely missed.”
From the Los Angeles Times:
Mauser was the top assistant coach of the Mamba girls’ basketball team, and her players included Gianna Bryant and Alyssa Altobelli, said Samantha Doucette, another coach at the Mamba Sports Academy.
She also led clinics for WNBA players at the Mamba Sports Academy.
Matt Mauser, Christina’s husband, wrote on Facebook:
“My kids and I are devastated. 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.”
From Fox 5 San Diego:
The luxury aircraft was being flown by Ara Zobayan, who, according to records was an instrument-rated pilot — meaning he was qualified to fly in fog. Friends were mourning him on social media Sunday night, saying that he taught aspiring helicopter pilots to fly and that he was loved within the aviation community.
Friends have identified the pilot as
Ara Zobayan. He taught aspiring heli pilots to fly and was very much loved in the aviation community. They wrote “rest easy as you take your final flight to heaven.”@KTLA #KobeBryant pic.twitter.com/8pQh9eNJTk
— Christina Pascucci (@ChristinaKTLA) January 27, 2020
In addition to Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, @CBSNews has identified the other victims of the deadly helicopter crash in California:
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 27, 2020
🙏🏽🙏🏽Prayers to the families of all the victims of the tragic helicopter crash yesterday pic.twitter.com/yN3iPCP8oj
— HOT 97 (@HOT97) January 27, 2020
All 9 victims of yesterday’s tragic helicopter crash have been identified: https://t.co/OPAhCQlDwr
Absolutely heartbreaking. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/aRE3DGrjBL
— Complex (@Complex) January 27, 2020