The victims of the crash that killed Kobe Bryant have yet to be officially named, but their identities are emerging through statements and social media posts by friends and family.
Sarah and Payton Chester
Payton Chester played alongside Bryant’s daughter Gianna on the same basketball team, and was on the aircraft with her mother Sarah.
Her brother, Riley, posted on Instagram: “Rest In Peace to the most amazing mother and sister. I love you Pay Pay and Mom RIP.”
The principal of Harbor View Elementary School – also in Corona del Mar – posted a tribute to Payton and Sarah.
Todd Schmidt said on Facebook: “As folks mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant, I want to take a moment to remember two gorgeous human beings who were with him, Sarah and Payton Chester.”
He said the family had made a “huge impact” at the school when Payton was a pupil, and were “full of mischief and laughter… and they had the best kiddos!”
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Several Southern California media outlets have identified the pilot as Ara Zobayan, citing friends.
John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli and Alyssa Altobelli
John Altobelli, 56, was head baseball coach for Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California.
Known as “Alto”, he worked there for 27 years and led the team to more than 700 wins, the college said.
“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,” said a statement.
His daughter, Alyssa, 13, was on the same basketball team as Bryant’s daughter and they were all travelling to a youth tournament arranged by Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy.
The family confirmed that Keri Altobelli, Alyssa’s mother, also died in the crash.
The basketball coach worked at Harbor Day School – a private elementary school in Corona del Mar, south of Los Angeles.
The 38-year-old worked as an assistant coach there for more than 10 years, reported CBS Los Angeles, and she also coached the Lady Mamba team.
Gianna Bryant is said to have once attended the school – which said it was “devastated” by the coach’s death.
Her husband, Matt Mauser, who founded Tijuana Dogs, a popular Orange County band, said on Facebook: “My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash.”
The 13-year-old was one of four daughters Bryant had with wife Vanessa.
She was following in her father’s footsteps as a keen basketball player and was part of the Lady Mamba basketball team.
The teenager hoped to play at University of Connecticut and eventually turn professional.
Bryant also coached her middle-school team and made no secret of his pride in his daughter – who he described as “something else”.
In a November video on Instagram, she finishes a dribble and scores the fadeaway “swish” – her father’s signature shot.
Philadelphia-born Bryant was 41 and regarded as one of the best basketball players ever.
He played for the LA Lakers his whole career and, along with the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan, was one of several players to have transcended the sport.
Bryant was an eight-time NBA All-Star who won five championships during a 20-year career.
He was the league MVP in 2008 and a two-time NBA scoring champion.
In the overall tally of NBA scorers he is fourth, with 33,643, having only last week been pipped by fellow Lakers superstar LeBron James.
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