News is still coming forward regarding the tragic helicopter fatality that took the life of NBA Icon Kobe Bryant and his daughter this past weekend.
All nine victims of the helicopter crash which killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter have now been named. Bryant has often used helicopters as his mode of transport and he was reportedly flying to Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, where he was to coach his daughter’s team in a tournament.
Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa confirmed that baseball coach John
Altobelli was among the victims.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Orange Coast College head baseball coach John Altobelli,” the school said in a statement. “He was a coach, a colleague, a mentor and a friend at OCC for 27 years.”
The coach’s brother Tony Altobelli, who is the sports director at OCC, told CNN that Altobelli’s wife Keri Altobelli and daughter Alyssa, a 13-year-old basketball player at Bryant’s Mamba Academy, also died in the crash.
Just after 8 p.m. tonight, officials held another media briefing and said they were having difficulty recovering the bodies.
“Given the terrain and the condition of the site, we expect that it will take us at least a couple of days for the recovery,” stated Dr. Jonathan Lucas, chief medical examiner for L.A. County.
“Our next priority is identification and notification of the families, all of which we will do as soon as we can,” Lucas added, before promising that the recovery effort would be quick, thorough and compassionate.
Coroner’s officials said a team of experts has been brought in to recover the bodies and a massive refrigerated vehicle is standing by to transport the remains.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration will take the lead on the investigation. The helicopter was a Sikorsky S-76B, said FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer. The aircraft departed from John Wayne Airport in Orange County at 9:06 a.m., records show.
The helicopter company released the following statement: “We extend our sincerest condolences to all those affected by today’s Sikorsky S-76B accident in Calabasas, California. We have been in contact with the NTSB and stand ready to provide assistance and support to the investigative authorities and our customer.”