CALABASAS, Calif. — Kobe Bryant often took a helicopter to practices and games both to minimize traffic time and maximize his energy. But with the Los Angeles Lakers legend and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, among the nine people that were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning, should that have been the correct mode of transportation?
That is among the tough and unsettling questions law enforcement and aviation officials are hoping to answer.
“We do know there was an issue with visibility and a low ceiling,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva on Sunday evening. “The actual conditions at the time of impact, that is still yet to be determined.”
Villanueva added that the L.A. Sheriff’s office did not have any helicopters flying “because of the weather.” The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating more details on what caused the crash, which Villanueva predicted is “going to take not just days but weeks.” Dr. Jonathan Lucas, L.A.’s chief medical examiner-coroner, estimated it will “take at least a couple, if not a few days” to transport the bodies, identify them and consult with the victims’ families.
With hundreds of Kobe Bryant fans visiting here on Sunday, law enforcement officials have allowed only residents into the area. Villanueva added the FAA instituted a 5-mile no-fly zone around up to altitudes of 5,000 feet. Authorities are also closing off ramps of the 101 freeway near Las Virgenes Road. Villanueva encouraged Bryant fans to go to De Anza Park for any memorial services.
Follow USA TODAY Sports' Mark Medina on Twitter @MarkG_Medina.
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