2020 is already taking turns.
Retired Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant reportedly passed away on Sunday morning in a helicopter crash, per TMZ. The incident took place in Calabasas. Kobe was said to be traveling with at least four other people in his private helicopter. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
According to the report, emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived the crash. Five people are confirmed dead. TMZ reports that his wife Vanessa Bryant was not among those on board.
The Los Angeles Times confirmed that a helicopter crash had occurred before 10 a.m. near Las Virgenes Road, south of Agoura Road. There were foggy conditions that caused the helicopter to crash in the hills above Calabasas and burst into flames.
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) January 26, 2020
A watch commander for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that the crash ignited a small brush fire in the area surrounding the helicopter. Emergency Services personnel were unable to get to the aircraft until the fire was contained. The Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department confirmed that there were five fatalities and no survivors of the wreck.
Bryant has been known for traveling via a private helicopter for years even during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers. He famously commuted from Newport Beach to the STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles by way of his Sikorsky S-76 chopper.
Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and their four daughters, Gianna, Natalia, Bianca, and Capri.
With a career that spanned 20 years and 1,346 games, Bryant is known as one of the NBA’s all-time greats. The former Los Angeles Laker was named an NBA All-Star 18 times, and he was a member of five championship teams. He also had two separate numbers (8, 24) retired by the Lakers following his retirement. He is fourth on the NBA’s All-Time scoring list.
This story is developing. Stay tuned…prayers go out to Bryant’s family and fans at this time.