A third victim in the California helicopter crash that killed Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant on Sunday has been identified. John Altobelli, a baseball coach at Orange Coast College, was reportedly among those killed in the crash, according to TMZ Sports. The site also confirmed that former Lakers and Celtics player Rick Fox was not on board, despite social media rumors that led to his name trending on Twitter.
Prior to TMZ Sports' report, OCC assistant baseball coach Ron La Ruffa told the Los Angeles Daily News Altobelli was on the helicopter.
Altobelli's friends took to Twitter to remember the longtime college baseball coach.
this is a picture of kobe bryant and john altobelli, both killed on the helicopter crash that happened early today. rest in peace to both of these men. pic.twitter.com/9mJD1tsTDZ— makai (@realmakaipahoa) January 26, 2020
Bryant was on the helicopter with at least three other people and a pilot, all of whom died in the crash. Bryant's representative told TMZ Sports one of the victims was Bryant's daughter, Gianna Bryant, 13. They were traveling to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for basketball practice.
RIP, John. He was always very gracious with his time when he managed in the @Official_CCBL & I was working on prospect reports. Managed a still-raw Aaron Judge in 2012. "The sky's the limit for him," John said. https://t.co/j214MCg1qa— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) January 26, 2020
Altobelli was the longest-tenured baseball coach in OCC history, according to the college's website. He lived in Newport Beach with his wife Keri and daughters Alexis and Alyssa in Newport Beach. His son, J.J., works is a scout for the Boston Red Sox and served as a coach at the University of Oregon.
There were rumors that Fox, one of Bryant's former teammates, was among the victims in the crash. However, his stepdaughter confirmed on Twitter Fox was not.
"To confirm my stepdad Rick Fox is ALIVE and safe!" Jillian Hervey tweeted. "I just got off the phone with my sister. We are all in shock and deeply saddened but please don't spread false news."
The helicopter crash happened just before 10 a.m. local time. The helicopter was a Sikorsky S-76, FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer confirmed. TMZ reported the helicopter was owned by Bryant.0comments
Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa and their three other daughters, Natalia, Bianka and Capri.
Photo credit: Getty Images