Vin Diesel posted a tribute to Kobe Bryant on Instagram that had fans heavy-hearted. The Fast and Furious actor shared a photo of himself arm-in-arm with Bryant sometime in the past, while the caption called on Diesel's "family" to pray for Bryant's. The post picked up over 1.6 million likes in a few hours.
Bryant passed away on Sunday morning in a shocking helicopter accident. According to CBS News, he was flying from Orange County to Los Angeles, California with his 13-year-old daughter, six other passengers and one pilot. There were no survivors in the crash.
Diesel was one of many people to mourn Bryant on Sunday as the sad news spread. In his post, he tried to make sure his followers understood the profound impact Bryant had on his work.
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"Heavy heart today... to the family, please know how much he impacted all of our lives and will live on in our hearts. Sending the deepest of condolences to all involved. Our prayers... for the family of this true hero," Diesel wrote.
Fans weighed in in the comment section as well, posting their own grief for Bryant under Diesel's. One of the top comments came from director James Gunn, who commented with three broken heart emojis.
"It's terrible to hear about legend's loss and I express my sincere sympathy to Bryant's family and all his fans with broken heart," another person wrote.
"Paul and Kobe are in the heaven now... watching us!" added another.
Many fans were especially heartbroken for Bryant's daughter, Gianna. The two were reportedly on the way to one of her basketball games at the time of the crash. Gianna played at Bryant's Mamba Academy, where Bryant coached.
Bryant's helicopter crash landed in Calabasas, away from any buildings or roadways. However, it did ignite on impact, and the fire spread to nearby dry brush. L.A. County Fire Chief Deryl Osby said that the ensuing blaze covered about a quarter-acre around the crash site, making it hard for first responders to get there.
Others in the crash included college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter, Alyssa Altobelli. John's assistant coach, Ron La Ruffa told CNN that Alyssa and Gianna played basketball together, and the family often accompanied Bryant on his helicopter commutes.0comments
"It was something John routinely did, flying up with Kobe to attend games with his daughter," La Ruffa said.
Friends and fans continue to mourn Bryant as new details emerge.