NBA Legend Kobe Bryant died on Sunday in a helicopter accident in California at the age of 41. His young daughter, aged 13, and other passengers onboard died during the crash as well.
The incident occurred in the area of Calabasas, California while the group was en route to a basketball game. Initial reports from the Los Angeles County Sheriff say that nine people in total were on the helicopter at the time of the incident. One of the other victims identified was the coach of an Orange County baseball team for the last 24 years.
Witnesses in the area said that they heard the engine of the aircraft making strange noises in the moments before the crash, but no exact cause of the accident has been released yet. The initial emergency call was received at around 9:45 am Pacific time. Officers responded to a helicopter crash where the aircraft when into a hillside and caused a large fire. Photos from the scene showed a fire truck and emergency workers trying to extinguish flames from a large fire and search for survivors in the area of the 4200 block of Las Virgenes Road.
The Federal Aviation Administration identified the helicopter’s model as the Sikorsky S-76. They stated that the crash occurred due to unknown circumstances, but a full investigation is planned. Initial findings show that the helicopter departed from John Wayne International Airport and flew along U.S. 101, then turned left towards the hills where the crash happened. The radar track of the flight was also captured.
Bryant won multiple NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and numerous other awards and accolades during the course of his career, including two Olympic gold medals. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest players in NBA history. Bryant was likely one of the most well known and recognizable athletes in all of professional sports in recent years. Since his retirement in the spring of 2016, he had been spotted watching numerous WNBA and NBA games with his daughter, Gianna. Kobe is survived by his wife and three other daughters.
Why are accident investigations important?
Obviously a victim’s family will want answers as to what went wrong, and they will want to make sure anyone who was responsible will have to answer for their actions. This is one of the main purposes of an accident investigation.
These accident investigations and related reports sometimes become an important part of the legal process following a crash. Government agencies such as the National Transportation Safety Board or the Federal Aviation Administration will attempt to give an objective evaluation of the incident, and identify an exact cause of the accident. These reports and investigations can be used as evidence during a trial following a lawsuit against the person or business at fault.
When someone dies because of a faulty aircraft, there are a number of legal actions that may be taken. The local government can even choose to file criminal charges after an accident if an intentional act or gross negligence is discovered. A wrongful death case is the remedy given by the civil law that allows a family to receive compensation related to medical and funeral expenses, along with the victim’s future lost wages after a fatal accident.