Letters to the Editor: Traffic congestion killed Kobe Bryant as much as bad weather did

Kobe Bryant helicopter crash
Officials remove a body from the wreckage in Calabasas on Jan. 26 where Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among nine dead in a helicopter crash.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Nearly two weeks after the helicopter crash that took the lives of nine people, including former Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, we must now ponder how this tragedy affects all of California.

I believe that the blame for Bryant’s death lies not with the company that operated the helicopter or with the pilot. I don’t blame the lack of onboard terrain warning equipment.

What’s really at fault is Los Angeles’ traffic congestion and California’s inability to fix it. This is a statewide issue, and traffic can be just as bad in Sacramento and San Francisco as it is in Los Angeles. The governor should appoint a commission to recommend solutions to this problem.


California is the global leader in creating technology solutions in the business and science sectors. It is time that the state took the lead in solving traffic congestion too. We need to get people out of their cars, and we should use technology to solve this issue once and for all.

Bryant used helicopters as a personal solution to this problem, and in the end it cost him his life. Let his passing be not in vain.

William Baumiester, Stockton


To the editor: It is indeed a tragedy that Bryant and eight others died in a helicopter crash.

But in these days of climate change and wealth inequality awareness, why is there no criticism of “elite” individuals getting to take a helicopter to save a little time? Why should these people not also have to take a vehicle, perhaps even electric, to get where they need to go like the rest of us?

Think of the carbon emissions every time Bryant flew and the danger to people on the ground in the event that his helicopter crashed on the freeways or homes he flew over.

Andrew Bressler, Culver City