Feds probe copter crash that killed NBA legend Bryant

Feds probe copter crash that killed NBA legend Bryant
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Friends, colleagues and fans mourned Kobe Bryant on Monday as federal investigators sifted through the wreckage of the helicopter crash that killed the basketball legend and eight other people, hoping to find clues to what caused the accident that stunned the world.

Los Angeles : Friends, colleagues and fans mourned Kobe Bryant on Monday as federal investigators sifted through the wreckage of the helicopter crash that killed the basketball legend and eight other people, hoping to find clues to what caused the accident that stunned the world.

Bryant, 41, was traveling Sunday with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers and crew when the Sikorsky S-76 slammed into a rugged hillside in thick fog in Calabasas, northwest of LA.

There were no survivors. A five-time NBA champion for his only team, the LA Lakers, and a double Olympic gold medalist, Bryant was widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history.

He was traveling on his private helicopter from Orange County, where he lived, to his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks where his daughter was set to play.

The pilot of Bryant's ill-fated helicopter was flying too low to be monitored in fog, air traffic controller recordings showed on Monday, as coroner's investigators said they had recovered three bodies from the crash site and were searching for more remains.

Bryant, who won five NBA championships in his 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, was known since his playing days to travel frequently by helicopter to avoid the Los Angeles area's glacial traffic.

Jennifer Homendy, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, told a press conference that investigators would remain at the site of the crash throughout the week to collect evidence.

"It was a pretty devastating accident scene," she said, adding that the wreckage was strewn across about 600 feet (180 meters). "We will be here about five days on scene to collect perishable evidence," she said. "We are not here to determine the cause of the accident.

We will not determine that on scene." Homendy said the aircraft did not have a black box, which was not required on that type of helicopter.

Apart from Bryant and his daughter Gianna, the other passengers on the flight included baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa, who played basketball at the same club as Gianna and 2 others.

Gianna had shown signs that she could further her father's glittering basketball legacy.

Her proud father once said the second-born of the Los Angeles Lakers star's four daughters with wife Vanessa was "something else" on the basketball court.

Bryant's eldest daughter, 17-year-old Natalia, prefers volleyball, Bianka is only three and Capri was only born last year. So the 41-year-old NBA great's basketball hopes were invested in Gianna.

"It's a trip to see her move and the expressions she makes. It's a trip how genetics work," Bryant told US chat show host Jimmy Kimmel in 2018.

NBA superstar LeBron James said Monday he was "heartbroken and devastated" over the death of Kobe Bryant while vowing in an Instagram post to continue Bryant's championship legacy with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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