8 other lives lost on helicopter crash

Raymond Arias

On Jan. 26, at approximately 9:47 a.m., a 9-1-1 call was issued concerning a Calabasas helicopter crash carrying nine victims, one of whom was a Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. All nine aboard the helicopter were pronounced dead as a result of blunt force trauma. The matter was certified as an accident by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner three days later.

According to CNN, “in addition to Bryant, 41, and his daughter, 13, the crash claimed the lives of Payton Chester, 13; Sarah Chester, 45; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Keri Altobelli, 46; John Altobelli, 56; Christina Mauser, 38; and the helicopter’s pilot, Ara Zobayan, 50.”

Before crashing, the aircraft was en route to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, where the group was expected for a youth basketball game.

“I’m not even gonna say prayers and condolences because I don’t even know how to capture this moment,” said a tearful Jay Williams, basketball analyst on ESPN.

Although not much was known about the “others” in the crash, one thing is for sure: their names will not be forgotten. Countless sports teams, celebrities and individuals around the world have taken the time to pay their respects to these individuals lost in the tragedy. LeBron James gave recognition to and mourned all the victims who passed in the crash before embarking on an emotional pregame speech about his former friend Kobe at the Lakers’ first game back since the incident.

UConn’s women’s basketball team paid tribute to Gianna Bryant, who was following in her father’s footsteps as a star on the basketball court, by resting her jersey above a courtside seat with white flowers.