Vanessa Bryant is urging Congress to pass a new helicopter safety bill named after her husband, Kobe Bryant, and their daughter, Gianna after they were killed in a crash on Jan. 26, along with seven other people. Bryant released a statement that talked about how Kobe and Gianna would still be alive if the helicopter they were in were safer. Her comments come on the heels of Democratic lawmakers introducing the "Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant Helicopter Safety Act," which would require helicopters that require six or more people be equipped with necessary tools for safety, including Terrain Awareness and Warning System, a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder.
"I strongly urge that the United States Congress pass a federal law that would improve the safety of helicopters operating in this country," Bryant said in her statement, via CNN. "I believe there is a chance that Kobe and Gianna would still be alive today if their helicopter had been equipped with the safety equipment required by this pending federal legislation." Bryant also added the bill would "save many lives" moving forward. "As passengers traveling on aircrafts we assume that proper safety measures are in order to prevent accidents from happening before we fly," she continued. "It's unfortunate that this is not the case and aircraft companies must do their part to protect lives."
Shortly after the crash, California Rep. Brad Sherman introduced similar legislation. However, Sherman told CNN the bill introduced Thursday was updated after the Bryant family contacted relevant lawmakers. Bryant also said she was "deeply moved" when she's learned the new legislation would be named for Kobe and Gianna.
While Vanessa is urging Congress to pass the bill, she's also looking for answers when it comes to why the crash happened. A new report by the National Transportation Safety Board was released this week and investigators believe the pilot, Ara Zobayan, was disoriented before the crash. He told air traffic control he was climbing to 4,000 feet but was actually heading towards the ground before hitting a mountain outside of Los Angeles. "Calculated apparent angles at this time show that the pilot could have misperceived both pitch and roll angles," one report stated. "During the final descent, the pilot, responding to [air traffic control], stated that they were climbing to four thousand."