Who Died In The Helicopter Crash That Killed Kobe Bryant?
On Sunday, January 26, Kobe Bryant was killed when the helicopter he was in crashed in Calabasas, California. Bryant was on the Sikorsky S-76B with eight other people, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. All nine people on board the aircraft were killed when the chopper went down around 9:47 a.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The Inquisitr confirmed with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s media relations department that they received a call reporting a downed aircraft at 10:01 a.m. local time on Las Virgenes Road and that deputies from the Calabasas/Lost Hills substation responded.
Here is a full list of all the people that were killed in the tragic crash.
Kobe Bryant — 41
The former NBA star who had an incredible career with the Los Angeles Lakers was killed in Sunday’s crash. He would often use helicopters to get around, whether it be traveling from his home to the Staples Center or heading to other events with his family.
On Sunday, Bryant had been traveling to Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for his daughter’s basketball practice. Bryant coached his daughter’s AAU basketball game called “The Mambas.”
Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa and their other three daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and their infant Capri, who was born in 2019.
Gianna Bryant — 13
Gianna Bryant, the 13-year-old daughter of Kobe and Vanessa Bryant, was also killed on Sunday. Following in her dad’s footsteps, Gianna, or Gigi for short, loved playing basketball. Not only did she play the sport, but she also watched various NBA games, getting her dad to watch, too.
“Before Gigi got into basketball, I hardly watched it, but now that she’s into basketball, we watch every night,” Kobe told former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson during a recent podcast.
There was talk about Gigi heading to the WNBA, and she certainly had the skills — even a fade shot that mimicked her dad’s. Although she was only 13, she took the game seriously and was dedicated to honing her skills.
Ara Zobayan — 50
The pilot of the helicopter has been identified as 50-year-old Ara Zobayan. The 50-year-old of Armenian descent was a respected pilot who was said to be “instrument rated.” This means that Zobayan was rated to fly in fog and clouds. This is important because the area in which the helicopter went down was said to be experiencing some visibility issues due to fog in the area. It has been reported that Zobayan was dedicated to the Bryant family, suggesting that he worked exclusively for them, piloting various flights throughout the year.
“He was not your typical egotistical helicopter pilot like most of us honestly are. Ara was a man that always remained cool, calm and collected. As more people that knew Ara open up about him, you’ll only hear words like professional, calculated and loving,” a friend of Zobayan posted on Facebook after learning of the crash.
John Altobelli, 56, His Wife, Keri & Their Teenage Daughter Alyssa
“We have lost a member of our OCC family, and our hearts are broken. Coach Altobelli was a giant on our campus — a beloved teacher, coach, colleague, and friend. This is a tremendous loss for our campus community,” OCC President Angelica Suarez said in a statement.
John and Keri Altobelli are survived by their son, J.J., and daughter, Alexis.
Christina Mauser — 38
Christina Mauser was also killed in Sunday’s helicopter crash. The 38-year-old was a wife and a mother foremost. She was also a girls’ basketball coach, working at Harbor Day School, a private school in Corona del Mar, according to CNN.
Mauser often teamed up with Bryant for events at Mamba Academy, including a recent clinic for the WNBA.
“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,” her husband Matt wrote in an emotional Facebook post.
Sarah & Payton Chester
Sarah Chester and her teenage daughter Payton were also aboard the chopper when it crashed. Payton was one of Gianna Bryant’s teammates on the Mamba Sports Academy girls basketball team.
“Rest In Peace to the most amazing Mother and sister. I love you Pay Pay and Mom RIP,” Riley Chester captioned an Instagram post.
Both Sarah and Payton had private Instagram accounts.