Gone, but Never Forgotten
In remembrance of the nine people that lost their lives last Sunday.
February 3, 2020
Last Sunday, nine amazing people tragically lost their lives in a devastating helicopter crash. With no survivors, the crash took place in California on Sunday, impacting many families and friends throughout the world. Among the crash was the legendary Kobe Bryant, a famous basketball player who played for the Los Angeles Lakers, and his daughter Gianna Bryant. Also known as “Gigi”, the 13-year-old was the second oldest out of Kobe’s four daughters.
The Altobelli family was also impacted that day. John Altobelli was the head coach of Orange Coast College for baseball. His wife, Keri, was also on the helicopter with their daughter Alyssa, who was on the same basketball team as Kobe’s daughter. John was recognized as an amazing coach by many throughout his life. “John was a tremendous coach and an even better friend. Beyond that, he was an amazing mentor to all of the students and athletes that he taught and coached. He treated them all like family and his impact will live on forever,” said Jason Kehler, Orange Coast College Athletics Director.
Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton, who was also on Gianna’s team, were on the helicopter too. “Payton had a smile and personality that would light any room, and a passion for the game of basketball. She found joy on any court and loved all of her teammates and coaches,” the Chester family said.
The pilot of the helicopter was Ara Zobayan. He was Kobe Bryant’s private pilot, and was a teacher and trainer to others. According to the Washington Post, he was certified to fly in bad weather, receivng his certificate in 2007.
Christina Mauser was the final passenger on the helicopter. She coached basketball at Harbor Day School, where Gianna attended school. Having three small kids, life has been difficult to adjust to for her husband. “She was an amazing line of defense for basketball, so he [Kobe] brought her on,” her husband said, “They called her the mother of defense, ‘Mod’.”
Throughout the pain of losing loved ones, tragedies like these help us remember to cherish the precious moments while there’s still time.