Teens, parents among victims of crash that killed Kobe Bryant

Teens, parents among victims of crash that killed Kobe Bryant
Sympathizers at a memorial at Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, for the victims of the helicopter crash that resulted in the deaths of Kobe Bryant and eight others. (AP Photo)
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Updated 27 January 2020

Teens, parents among victims of crash that killed Kobe Bryant

Teens, parents among victims of crash that killed Kobe Bryant
  • Authorities have not yet officially identified all the victims but family and friends have shared their grief in public announcements or postings on social media
  • Ara Zobayan, a commercial helicopter pilot and flight instructor, was flying Bryant’s private chopper when it crashed into a hillside near Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES: A baseball coach, two teenage girls and their parents and the pilot were among the victims of the helicopter crash that killed basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter on Sunday.
Here is what we know so far about the victims.
Authorities have not yet officially identified all the victims but family and friends have shared their grief in public announcements or postings on social media.
Bryant, 41, died in the crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna as they were heading from Orange County, where he lives, to a youth basketball academy — Mamba Academy — northwest of Los Angeles.
John Altobelli, 56, the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, died in the crash along with his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa.
The college confirmed their deaths in a statement.
“John meant so much to not only Orange Coast College, but to baseball,” the college’s athletic director Jason Kehler said in a statement. “He truly personified what it means to be a baseball coach. The passion that he put into the game, but more importantly his athletes, was second to none — he treated them like family.”
Christina Mauser, 38, was the assistant coach for Gianni Bryant’s Mamba Academy basketball team.
“I got three small kids and am trying to figure out how to navigate life with three kids and no mom,” her husband Matt told NBC news.
Sarah and Payton Chester, a mother and daughter, lived in Orange County and died in the crash, family and friends said.
“They had to get on the helicopter as a convenience today, they usually drove by car,” Payton’s grandmother Catherine George told NBC.
Ara Zobayan, a commercial helicopter pilot and flight instructor, was flying Bryant’s private chopper when it crashed into a hillside near Los Angeles and burst into flames, according to media report and tributes posted online.


UK scientists warn too early to tell if new COVID-19 variant more deadly

UK scientists warn too early to tell if new COVID-19 variant more deadly
Updated 4 min 39 sec ago

UK scientists warn too early to tell if new COVID-19 variant more deadly

UK scientists warn too early to tell if new COVID-19 variant more deadly
  • PM Boris Johnson had previously said evidence showed higher mortality rate 
  • Top medics have said it is “too early” to say whether the variant carries with it a higher mortality rate

LONDON:The discovery of a new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant in the UK should not alter the response to the pandemic, scientists say, despite fears that it could prove more deadly.
Top medics have said it is “too early” to say whether the variant, thought to be up to 70 percent more transmissible, carries with it a higher mortality rate.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed there was “some evidence” the variant had “a higher degree of mortality” at a press conference on Friday, Jan. 22, with the UK’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, adding it could be up to 30 percent more deadly. 
That came after a briefing by the UK government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) said there was a “realistic possibility” of an increased risk of death.
Prof. Peter Horby, Nervtag’s chairman, said: “Scientists are looking at the possibility that there is increased severity ... and after a week of looking at the data we came to the conclusion that it was a realistic possibility.
“We need to be transparent about that. If we were not telling people about this we would be accused of covering it up.”
But infectious disease modeller Prof. Graham Medley, one of the authors of the Nervtag briefing, told the BBC: “The question about whether it is more dangerous in terms of mortality I think is still open.
He added: “In terms of making the situation worse it is not a game changer. It is a very bad thing that is slightly worse.”
Dr. Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling for the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said he was “quite surprised” Johnson had made the claim.
“I just worry that where we report things pre-emptively where the data are not really particularly strong,” he added.