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February 20, 2020

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      Forty-one year old NBA star, Kobe Bryant, and his thirteen year old daughter Gianna Bryant were killed January 26th in a helicopter crash. John, Kerri and Allysa Altobelli, Sarah and Payton Chester, Ara Zobayan, and Christina Mauser also lost their lives in the crash. The nine were on their way to the legendary Mamba Sports Academy in California when this tragedy struck.

     The flight had not been going as planned from the start, the chopper had been flying too low. There were also some further complications. The company was not certified to fly in fog or with limited visibility, and fog was a contributing cause of the crash. Then, less than forty minutes after the helicopter had taken flight, it disappeared off the radar. The helicopter flew into a limited visibility area and crashed into a hillside. The crash caused a bushfire that was nearly a quarter of an acre. According to the Washington Post, this fire took fifty-six personnel to extinguish.

     Medical examiners were able to identify Kobe and the eight others killed in the crash after investigating the scene. Kobe and three others were identified by fingerprints, however the rest of the victims were able to be identified through DNA testing. The cause of death for all nine victims was, “blunt trauma”, according to CNN.

     Now several weeks after the basketball star and his daughter passed away, people are still doing everything they can to honor the two, starting with the people that meant the most to him, his wife and his team. Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, has spoken out since the crash, and through her pain she sends her condolences to the families of the other victims. Vanessa is doing her best to keep it together for her other daughters, but according to her family, she cannot finish a sentence without tears in her eyes. The Lakers met for the first time after the crash on January 29th, where they did shooting drills but one team mate said it did not feel like a “real practice” without Bryant. After the practice they went out to lunch to mourn and grieve together. At the super bowl half-time show a tribute was paid to the two as well, by the teams lining up on the twenty-four yard line. Twenty-four was the number that Kobe and all of his fans wore with pride. Fans are doing as much as they can to ensure his legacy is never forgotten by showing their overwhelming support of the family. They are placing balloons that are the Lakers colors, flowers, and other small trinkets outside of the Staples Center. However, the staff removed the memorial due to it consuming large amounts of space and gave his widow the option to keep whatever she may like from the memorial. 

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