Investigation Underway to Determine Cause of Helicopter Crash That Killed Kobe Bryant and Four Others in Calabasas, California

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

Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Tony Imbrenda, speaking soon after the crash, said an investigation had begun but it was too early to determine the cause of the crash.

“The wreckage is still pretty hot up there,” Imbrenda said. “We still have some fire activity on the hill.”

Rebeca Salcedo, 29, and her cousins were in Calabasas for a birthday breakfast when they saw a helicopter that seemed to be flying low. They soon heard sirens and hoped everyone would be OK, she said.

They continued brunch but then saw news reports on their phones that Bryant was on board and had died.

“We all just started crying,” she said. “He’s just a great basketball player, you know. We grew up with him.”

Low clouds and fog were present in the area at the time of the crash, according to the Weather Channel. It was not immediately clear whether the weather played a role in the crash.

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SOURCE: USA Today, John Bacon