Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Shock, Disbelief Over Death Of Basketball Superstar Kobe Bryant In Helicopter Crash

(Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department photo)
Los Angeles County firefighters at the scene of a helicopter crash in Calabasas Sunday which killed nine people, including basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter

There's shock and disbelief over word that NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, his teenage daughter, and seven other people died in the crash of a helicopter taking them from Orange to Ventura County Sunday.

The helicopter went down just before 10 a.m. in the hills off of Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas.

The helicopter caught on fire when it crashed.  Los Angeles County firefighters were at the scene in less than ten minutes, but say that everyone on board died in the accident.

National Transportation Safety Board and FAA investigators are on scene, trying to determine what led to the crash.  There was low clouds and fog in the area at the time of the crash, but there's no word on whether that might have been a factor in the accident.

Hundreds of people went to the crash scene, and to Bryant's Mambo Sports Academy in Newbury Park to pay their respects.  The people in the helicopter were headed to the academy for a youth basketball game.

Bryant played his entire 20 year year with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships, and being named to the NBA All-Star team 18 times.  He was 41 years old.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.