Kobe Bryant’s deadly helicopter crash took the lives of nine people, and one of the victims was a famous Orange County college baseball coach, John Altobelli.
Investigators revealed the helicopter carrying nine passengers traveled from Orange County, CA heading toward Thousands Oaks where Kobe’s daughter was scheduled to play in a youth basketball game.
As we reported, the chopper crashed in the hills near Calabasas and no one on the flight survived. Kobe Bryant’s daughter, Gigi, was among the victims onboard.
Altobelli was a baseball coach at Orange Coast College, and the school issued a press release announcing the death of John Altobelli, who was on board the chopper and ost his life when it crashed. According to reports, Altobelli’s daughter Alyssa and his wife were also on board.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Orange Coast College head baseball coach John Altobelli. He was a coach, a colleague, a mentor and a friend at OCC for 27 years,” it began.
It continued, “John meant so much to not only Orange Coast College, but to baseball,” says Coast Athletic Director Jason Kehler.
“He truly personified what it means to be a baseball coach. The passion that he put into the game, but more importantly his athletes, was second to none – he treated them like family. Our deepest condolences go out to the Altobelli family during this time of tragedy.”
“Altobelli led the Pirates to numerous conference and state championship titles, notching more than 700 wins during his career and four state championships. In 2019, he was honored by the American Baseball Coaches Association as an ABCA/Diamond National Coach of the Year, a testament to his incredible work ethic and passion for the game. “Coach Alto” was a mentor to his players, often playing a key role in positioning student-athletes to obtain scholarships to play at the four-year level,” the release says.
“We have lost a member of our OCC family, and our hearts are broken,” says OCC President Angelica Suarez.
She continued, “Coach Altobelli was a giant on our campus – a beloved teacher, coach, colleague, and friend. This is a tremendous loss for our campus community.”
Kobe Bryant was killed Sunday after the helicopter carrying him, and his daughter Gigi, crashed into a hillside near Los Angeles. It’s unclear at this time what is the cause of the accident. But, it was reported the area had heavy fog during that time of the crash.
Fans flocked to Staples Center, where the Los Angeles Lakers play there home games, to pay their respect to the basketball icon.