June 16, 2021

Investigation underway to determine cause of California helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, 8 others

Multiple federal agencies will join California officials in trying to determine why a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven other people slammed into a hillside near Malibu on Sunday, killing everyone aboard.

The low clouds and fog in the area forced the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office to ground their helicopters at the time of the crash, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. The Los Angeles Police Department took similar precautions with its choppers. It was not immediately clear whether the weather played a role in the accident.

Pastor Bob Bjerkaas was teaching Sunday school at the Church in the Canyons when he heard a helicopter pass overhead.

“You could hear it – thump, thump, thump – and then a loud thud,” he said.

That is when his wife Kerrie ran in and said she thought there had been a crash. They and about 20 congregants rushed outside of the Presbyterian Church and looked up at the hillside.

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