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Kobe Bryant's widow sues helicopter company after crash

Vanessa Bryant claims the pilot was careless by flying in cloudy conditions and should have aborted the doomed flight

Sky News

Tuesday 25 February 2020 09:51, UK

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna attend the NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks on December 29, 2019
Image: Kobe Bryant and Gianna both passed away following a helicopter crash in January

Kobe Bryant's widow has sued the owner of the helicopter which crashed in fog and killed her husband and their teenage daughter.

Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit alleging wrongful death claims the pilot was careless and negligent by flying in cloudy conditions and should have aborted the flight.

The pilot, Ara Zobayan, was among the nine people killed in the crash last month.

The lawsuit came as thousands attended a public memorial service for the basketball legend and his daughter at the arena where the NBA superstar played most of his career.

Fan writes a message on Kobe Bryant mural 0:40
Fans pay tribute to Kobe Bryant following a public memorial service in Los Angeles honouring him and the other eight victims of last month's helicopter crash

The sold-out memorial service was held at the Staples Center, which is home to the Los Angeles Lakers, and is known as the "house that Kobe built".

The basketball star was killed along with his 13-year-old daughter when the helicopter he was travelling in crashed in Calabasas, California, north of Los Angeles on 26 January.

In early February, Mrs Bryant announced the service would be held as a "celebration of life" for her late husband and daughter Gianna.

2:13
Michael Jordan pays tribute to the late Kobe Bryant at a celebration of life for the former Los Angeles Lakers player and his daughter Gianna, following their death along with seven others at in a helicopter crash in January

February 24 is a special date for the Bryant family as it symbolises the jerseys of both Kobe and Gianna as well as the number of years Kobe and Vanessa were together.

The service featured speakers reflecting on Bryant's impact on basketball and the world, along with music and retrospectives on Bryant's on-court achievements.