Photos from the scene of Kobe Bryant's helicopter crash have emerged, showing the massive fire that engulfed the crash site. Bryant was in a helicopter that went down in Calabasas, California on Sunday morning, leaving him and eight others dead. Now, a witness has released pictures of the shocking tragedy.
Bryant's helicopter crashed in an uninhabited area, far from any buildings or roadways. Unfortunately, this meant that it was a place full of dry brush, which ignited into a wild fire when the aircraft crashed there. A man who was mountain biking through the area saw the whole thing.
The witness spoke to reporters from The Sun, providing pictures he took on the scene. He asked to remain anonymous, but he did describe the horror he saw as the helicopter came down.
"Out of the fog came a helicopter and it slammed into the mountainside about 200 feet from where we were standing," he said. "We were close enough that we could feel the air from the propellers. There was a huge fireball."
"One of the helicopter doors landed about 10 to 15 feet away from us. Helicopter parts were flying everywhere. There was very little left of the helicopter," he added.
At first, the man said that he and other witnesses tried to reach the crash site to offer assistance, "but there were obviously no survivors." He said that they did not learn until later who had been on the aircraft.
"We didn't realize that Kobe Bryant was in the helicopter until we got back down to the parking lot," he said. "Just the fact that a whole helicopter full of people crashed was shocking to us."
The crash left Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna dead, as well as six other passengers and the pilot.
Investigations into the crash are ongoing, but so far experts have verified that flying conditions were poor even when the helicopter took off. The visibility was poor and fog was thick, and the pilot was granted "Special Visual Flight Rules" clearance by air traffic controllers.0comments
The tragedy has sent shockwaves into every corner of American life, as fans mourn Bryant for his legacy both on and off the court. The NBA star was lauded for his family values, which makes it especially heartbreaking that his daughter was in the helicopter with him.
Bryant is survived by his wife, Vanessa Laine Bryant and three more daughters. Their youngest, Capri, was born back in June of 2019.