By now, you’ve probably heard the heartbreaking news that Kobe Bryant has passed away. The NBA legend was killed along with a few others when the helicopter they were on reportedly crashed in Calabasas, California and caught on fire. There were no survivors.
Where was he flying to at the time of his death? Let’s talk about where Bryant and the other passengers were headed below.
What to know about Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash
According to CNN, Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others were traveling to Mamba Academy for a basketball game. Gianna, 13, was a member of the Los Angeles Lady Mamba girls basketball team and was supposed to play in the game but didn’t make it.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the helicopter took off around 10 a.m. PT in Orange County — where Bryant resided — and crashed into a hillside in Calabasas a short time later.
The exact cause of the crash is unclear. But sources have suggested that there might have been problems with the aircraft. A man named Jerry Kocharian told The Times that he had been standing outside when he heard a helicopter “flying unusually low and struggling.”
“It [didn’t] sound right and it was real low. I saw it falling and sputtering. But it was hard to make out as it was so foggy,” he explained. Kocharian said the helicopter disappeared from his sight and then he heard a boom.
“There was a big fireball,” he added. “No one could survive that.”
Investigators are investigating the crash.
Tributes are pouring out
After news of Bryant’s death broke, troves of celebrities took to social media to mourn the loss and send their condolences to his loved ones.
Among them is former Los Angeles Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal, who played on the team with Bryant for years. In his tribute, O’Neal wrote that he was “sick.”
“There are no words to express the pain I’m going through now with this tragic and sad moment of losing my niece Gigi & my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie,” O’Neal wrote. “I love you and you will be missed. My condolences goes out to the Bryant family and the families of the other passengers on board. IM SICK RIGHT NOW!”
Magic Johnson wrote on Twitter: “As I try to write this post, my mind is racing. I’m in disbelief and have been crying all morning over this devastating news that Kobe and his young daughter, Gigi have passed away in a helicopter crash. Cookie and I are heartbroken.”
Former President Barack Obama also paid his respects, tweeting, “Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.”
President Donald Trump posted about it, too, calling it “terrible news.”
It certainly is. We send our condolences to his loved ones and fans.