Basketball Coach Christina Mauser Identified as Victim in Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash

January 27, 2020 Updated: January 27, 2020
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An assistant girl’s basketball coach has been identified as one of the nine victims of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria Onore Bryant, on Jan. 26.

Costa Mesa mayor Katrina Foley confirmed the news on Twitter on Jan. 27 and named the victim as Christina Mauser.

Foley said the basketball coach was married to musician Matt Mauser of the band Tijuana Dogs, before paying tribute to her.

“I just learned that our amazing Matt Mauser of Tijuana Dogs lost his wife Christina in the crash,” Foley said.

“She coached the girl’s team. This devastating tragedy gets worse by the hour. So much pain for so many local families. Our hearts are broken & grieving for the families impacted.”

Christina Mauser worked at the private Harbor Day School in Orange County, Southern California, CNN reported.

Following news of her death, her husband Matt also confirmed the news, adding that he and his wife’s three children have been left “devastated” by her shock passing before asking for privacy.

“My kids and I are devastated,” Mauser said on Facebook.

“We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash. Please respect our privacy. Thank you for all the well wishes, they mean so much.”

Mauser had been traveling in the helicopter alongside nine others, including Bryant, 41, and Gianna before it crashed northwest of Los Angeles around 10 a.m. Sunday, killing all those on board.

Also killed in the crash along with were Orange Coast College head baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and daughter Alyssa, who was reportedly a teammate of Gianna Bryant.

Bryant and his daughter had been on their way to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a basketball game scheduled for Sunday. Gianna was expected to play in the game, and Bryant was expected to coach, according to Lady Mavericks’ team director Evelyn Morales.

Bryant is survived by his wife of more than 20 years, Vanessa, 37, and their daughters, 17-year-old Natalia, 3-year-old Bianka, and Capri, who is just seven months.

The helicopter was built in 1991, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. It was registered to Island Express Holding Corp, according to an FAA registry database.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the crash, the FAA said in a tweet. An NTSB team is expected to arrive in Calabasas on Sunday evening, the NTSB said in a tweet.

There was extremely low visibility at the time of the crash, and conditions were foggy and cloudy with drizzle, according to CNN Meteorologist Michael Guy. Pictures taken shortly after the crash showed fog in the area.

Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Tony Imbrenda said he didn’t immediately have any information about whether the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter radioed a distress signal.

“Individuals that saw the aircraft said it was coming down at a fairly significant rate of speed and impacted the ground on the hillside,” he told reporters.

The Associated Press and The CNN Wire contributed to this report.