Orange Coast College Coach John Altobelli, Wife Keri, Daughter Alyssa Amongst Victims In The Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash

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Orange Coast College Coach John Altobelli, Wife Keri, Daughter Alyssa Amongst Victims In The Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash
Entertainment And News

The names of the victims in the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others — a total of nine people — have started to be released, and in addition to the basketball great and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, other families were devastated by the loss incurred by this devastating crash.

Who is John Altobelli, and what is his connection to Kobe Bryant?

Best known for his work as a college-level coach, Altobelli, along with his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, were three of the 9 people who perished in the helicopter crash on January 26, 2019, just outside of Calabasas, CA. The crash, which took place around 10:00 a.m. PST, also left a huge fire in its wake, making it difficult for the first responders to get to the crash site when the accident first happened. 

RELATED: Christina Mauser, Assistant Girl's Basketball Coach, Confirmed To Have Perished In The Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash

So, let's look at what we know about Altobelli and the horrific crash that claimed his life. 

1. Who is John Altobelli? He was known for his work as a college coach. 

Altobelli was the baseball coach for the Orange Coast College's program out in Costa Mesa, CA. The college confirmed Altobelli's passing in an official statement. 

2. Altobelli's wife and daughter were also killed in the helicopter crash. 

Altobelli's daughter, Alyssa, was Bryant's daughter Gianna's teammate. In a statement, the Altobelli family confirmed that Alyssa and her mother, Keri, were also on board the helicopter that crashed today.

They are survived by their daughter, Alexis, and their son, J.J., the latter of whom is a scout for the Boston Red Sox. 

3. Altobelli's former team also sent their well-wishes to the family upon hearing the news — but his brother was, naturally, devastated. 

The Brewster Whitecaps sent their well-wishes to the Altobelli family upon hearing the news of their former coach's death. But it goes without saying that the remainder of the Altobelli family is devastated by the news of their brother, sister-in-law, and niece's passing. 

Tony Altobelli, who is John Altobelli's brother and also worked at Orange Coast College, said that he first found out the information of his brother and his family's passing from his colleague (and former Mamba Academy coach) Sammy Doucette. 

"She said it might be true. Then her next question was, ‘Have you heard from your brother?’ and I was confused. She explained [John] goes on chopper rides with Kobe,” he said, adding that he ultimately received confirmation of his brother's death from a devastated Tim Matz, the assistant coach of the Pirates, who could barely get the words out.

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RELATED: RIP Kobe Bryant — Basketball Great; Daughter Gianna, 13, Amongst Those Dead In A Helicopter Crash​

4. The crash was immediately determined to have "no survivors." 

Upon word of the "Kobe Bryant helicopter crash," authorities immediately determined that it was a deadly crash, and that it had no survivors. However, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby — who held a joint press conference around the crash — determined that it was prudent to not release the names of the victims until their next of kin was notified.

That is why Kobe and Gianna Bryant's names were released first to the media. The other victims have been confirmed: Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and 13-year-old Payton Chester, and pilot Ara Zobayan.

5. Kobe Bryant was taking all of the helicopter passengers to Thousand Oaks, CA. 

Initial reports of the crash confirmed that Bryant was taking his daughter, Gianna, and some of her teammates to Thousand Oaks, CA, not far from Los Angeles — or Calabasas, for that matter.

Bryant reportedly loved to travel by helicopter, so he thought he would treat some of his daughter's teammates to the ride, which unfortunately ended in tragedy. 

6. An investigation into the crash is still ongoing. 

The NTSB has confirmed that they have not yet released the results of the investigation into the crash. It's unclear when these results will, in fact, be released. 

As of January 27th, more information about the crash has been released, specifically about the flight path of the helicopter. From what we can see, the helicopter took off from Orange County's John Wayne airport at approximately 9:06 a.m. PT.

The Sikorsky S-76B seemed to have hit a bit of an issue around Glendale, CA, as the flight path seems to circle the area several times before proceeding onward. (Initial reports suggest that the foggy conditions in the area, which grounded several other helicopters prior to this fateful flight, may have played a role in the irregular flight pattern.)

The crash ultimately happened around 10:00 a.m. PT in a wooded area just outside of Calabasas, CA, near the Ventura Freeway.

Our thoughts are with John Altobelli, his family, and all of the victims of the helicopter crash that happened today during what is undoubtedly a difficult time. 

RELATED: Everything You Wanted To Know About Vanessa Bryant, Who Lost Her Husband Kobe Bryant And Daughter, Gianna, In Horrifying Helicopter Accident​

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, publicist, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, BET.com, and more.