The tragic loss of the legendary Kobe Bryant two years ago was heartbreaking to the sports world and the world at large.
Since the unfortunate event of the helicopter crash that took the lives of all on board, including the basketball star and his daughter Gianna Bryant, several supporters have been in mourning until now.
American basketball executive and former Lakers star, Jerry West, has been mourning both Bryant and Elgin Baylor, his two dear friends.
Former Lakers Star, Jerry West Details The Loss Kobe Bryant
Baylor was a fellow professional basketball player who died at age 86 in March 2021. West felt incredibly hurt as a former teammate and couldn’t believe his best friend had died.
In a report by USA Today, the present consultant with the LA Clippers told the New York Times about the unhappiness that came with the death of his friends.
He said that despite how much he appreciated Baylor, he didn’t fully comprehend the depth of his death until the first day—losing someone who meant more than a teammate was difficult for the octogenarian.
The grieving friend described Bryant as a unique player who “had a big personality and was pretty bright” in the interview.
He added that Bryant would have been a great success, but he was taken away too young. The sore still seems raw for the 83-year-old as he is still reminded of the day of loss.
The ex-MVP revealed that he sometimes imagined what the late player would’ve been like if he lived up to his age or Baylor’s.
Kobe Bryant’s Helicopter Crash Incident Revealed In Details
After several investigations were conducted to determine what caused the helicopter crash that killed Bryant and everyone on board, the NTSB officially announced the cause.
The Blast previously reported that the pilot was blamed for the incident. This was due to his risky decision to fly in the turbulent weather.
The National Transportation Safety Board stated that the pilot decided to keep flying under poor conditions, which led to his confusion and loss of control.
The board added that the pilot was probably self-pressured, hence, his decision to continue the flight. He broke the Visual Flight Rules by making the decision.
They also revealed that Bryant had no hand in pressuring the pilot as the trip was to a youth basketball game, not a destination that required much hassle.
During a press conference in February 2021, the NTSB’s vice-chairman emphasized that the pilot should have known the danger that lay ahead due to the weather. This was after showing the evidence to the media.
According to the vice-chairman, the aircraft could have landed at Van Nuys airport if the pilot had recognized the danger of the weather in time. The airport was mere distances away.
Spatial Disorientation was the term used by the authorities in describing the pilot’s experience as he flew. This means he assumed the helicopter was climbing when it was going downward.
The NTSB concluded that aircraft are prone to have dangerous occurrences but can be avoided with the proper precautions, which they encourage companies to implement to prevent the same event.
The Late Basketballer’s Sports Academy Sue Helicopter Company Over Tragic Loss
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Many lawsuits were filed against the helicopter company, Island Express, for one of their staff’s decisions that led to the loss of lives.
Bryant’s wife and Mamba Sports Academy, an establishment of Bryant’s, were part of those who sued the company. They blamed the company for their negligence and carelessness.
The academy filed the lawsuit in honor of the basketballer, his daughter, and the other passengers on board, as they were all headed to a game at the time.
The filed proceedings, which The Blast confirmed, stated that Island Express should make the necessary payments for death benefits and burial expenses.
Christina Mauser, a basketball coach, was an unfortunate victim of the crash and her husband Matt created a foundation, “Christina Mauser Foundation,” in honor of her. Mauser was fatally injured due to the crash, but she eventually died.
Based on the filed lawsuit against Island Express, the Mauser family received compensation of $127,000 from the company.
During the first anniversary of the accident, the grieving husband hosted a musical tribute to his wife, during which he performed a song with his daughter, Penny.
He revealed that Penny was meant to board the aircraft with Mauser. The 12-year-old didn’t go with her mom because she accompanied her dad to a concert he had already booked.