More information about the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others was released on February 4. HollywoodLife obtained five separate 911 calls that were place by witnesses of the horrific crash as it was happening on January 26. Multiple callers described thick fog, loud noises and flames, telling 911 dispatchers that they could hear, but not see the aircraft in the hills of Calabasas.
“I’m reporting a hillside fire,” one caller says, noting that he witnessed fire “directly east of Las Virgenes Road and A.E. Wright Middle School… up in the hills” The caller goes on to say that he sees “flames and smoke, obviously.” After confirming the details, the dispatcher says, “We’re on our way up now.”
The next call came from a man walking on a trail in the area of Las Virgenes Road. “I could hear this plane, as if it was in the clouds but couldn’t see it,” he says. “Then we just heard a boom and a dead sound, and then I could see the flames.” He went on to say that the hill was one fire, but, “whatever crashed into the hill is also on fire… I think it was an airplane, a small airplane.”
The third caller who was at the Erewhon Market on Agoura Road in Calabasas. He says he heard “a helicopter crash into the mountain,” adding, “and now I’m looking at the flames.” At the end of the call, he notes that he can hear the sirens of vehicles responding to the incident.
Call No. 4 came from a man at 4235 Las Virgenes Road, near the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, who said the he heard a helicopter go over his head. “It’s thick in clouds, and then I heard a pop, and it immediately stopped,” he says, noting, “I can’t see it [the helicopter].” Sirens from first responders came be heard in the background of his call. “I see five police cars,” the caller says.
The caller, who the dispatcher thanks for knowing the area so well, suggests that authorities “call FAA and find out who’s flying in this area and get a flight plan. He then expresses his concern over the flight conditions.
“I was just thinking to myself, if this guy doesn’t have night vision, I mean, he’s completely IFR and he’s got no visual,” the caller adds, referring to the instrument flight rules that govern aviation.
The fifth call was placed by the same man who made the first 911 call. He wanted to “clarify” the location of where the aircraft went down. “The flames have gone out, I can just see smoke now, just barely any flames,” he describes. “I’m not there to the street yet. They keep driving by, the sheriffs,” he says of the first responders searching for the crash scene. The man notes that he can still see the flames.
Kobe and his daughter Gianna, along with John Altobelli, the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa, Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton Chester, 13, Christina Mauser, and the pilot, Ara Zobayan all lost their lives on Sunday, January 26, when Kobe’s private helicopter crashed and burned in the hills of Southern California. The group was traveling to a basketball game in foggy weather when the Oscar-winner’s Sikorsky S-76 chopper fell from the sky.
The NBA legend is survived by wife Vanessa, 37, and their three other daughters, Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 7-month-old Capri. Our thoughts are with the Bryant family, as well as the other families impacted by this horrific tragedy.