The world is reeling following the shocking death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and the seven other victims of the crash.
The authorities have not publicly identified the victims, but family and friends shared their grief in public announcements and posts on social media. The victims included a baseball coach, a pilot, and teenage girls and their parents.
The helicopter was on its way from Orange County, Calif., where the Bryant family lives, to Mr. Bryant’s youth basketball academy northwest of Los Angeles. It was travelling in foggy conditions and that the crash initially caused a bushfire, which slowed down rescue efforts. The accident follows a number of well-documented helicopter crashes which have hit the news over the last five years.
BREAKING: ABC & Fox News confirm the death of Kobe Bryant after his helicopter went down in Calabasas, California pic.twitter.com/qvyF0MAl7N— Breaking News Global (@BreakingNAlerts) January 26, 2020
The question on the lips of many has been been why was he flying in a helicopter? Helicopter accidents are often well-documented, particularly high profile and inner-city ones, which may lead us to believe they are common.
According to the International Helicopter Safety Foundation (IHSF), in North America, there were 95 non-fatal accidents in 2019, 21 of which were fatal. This was a decrease on the 98 non-fatal accidents and 24 fatal accidents of 2018.
Today a heartbreaking video has resurfaced that explains why Kobe took helicopters so often. It wasn't for celebrity status. Kobe chose to fly everywhere in LA so he would have more time with his four daughters
Back in 2018, Alex 'A-Rod' Rodriguez and Dan 'Big Cat' Katz had the unique opportunity to interview and meet the five-time NBA Champion and proud father of four on "The Corp" podcast. It's eerie and tragically ironic that in this interview with Kobe, they talked about helicopters.
Kobe shared that he would often spend a lot of time stuck in traffic while heading to practice for the Los Angeles Lakers from his home in Orange County. He had a routine of dropping off and picking up the girls from school before and after those practices.
“Traffic started getting really, really bad,” said Bryant. “And I was sitting in traffic and I wound up missing like a school play, because I was sitting in traffic. … I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft but still not compromise family time.
So that’s when I looked into helicopters, to be able to get down and back in 15 minutes and that’s when it started.”
He told Rodriguez, “You have like road trips and times where you don’t see your kids. … So every chance I get to see them, to spend time with them, even if it’s 20 minutes in the car.”
You can watch the interview in full here: