Kobe Bryant, the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar and one of the greatest players in National Basketball Association history, died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. He was 41 years old.
Mr. Bryant, who commuted to Lakers games from his Orange County home by helicopter during his playing career, was among the dead after a copter with eight others on the flight manifest caught fire after crashing into the hills of Calabasas, Calif.
Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, was also killed in the crash.
Gianna was a budding basketball star herself, and Mr. Bryant often shared photos and videos of her with millions of followers on social media. He called her “Mambacita”— a nod to the nickname he once gave himself, “Black Mamba.”
On a morning with foggy conditions in the Los Angeles area, the Los Angeles County Fire Department received the first report of a possible helicopter crash and brush fire at 9:47 a.m., said Daryl Osby, chief of the department.
A helicopter was used to lower a paramedic near the site of the Sikorsky S-76B wreckage.
He said everyone on board, including the unnamed pilot, “was determined to be perished.”
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the crash, a spokesperson for the FAA said.