Newport Beach City Council honors 9 killed in Bryant helicopter crash

The nine victims of Sunday's helicopter crash, clockwise from upper left: John and Keri Altobelli, their daughter Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant, Ara Zobayan, and Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton Chester.

The Newport Beach City Council on Tuesday honored all the victims of Sunday’s helicopter crash in Calabasas that killed retired Lakers basketball superstar Kobe Bryant and eight other people. Seven of the victims lived in Newport Beach, including Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Two lived in neighboring Huntington Beach.

At the council’s regular meeting Tuesday night, the seven members held a moment of silence and recited recollections and achievements of those lost: John Altobelli’s multiple championships as Orange Coast College’s longtime baseball coach; Keri Altobelli’s devotion as a wife to John and a mother to her two daughters, including Alyssa Altobelli, who also perished; Alyssa’s humility and kindness; Sarah Chester’s dependability; her daughter Payton Chester’s sincerity and magnetism; Christina Mauser’s love of youth sports; pilot Ara Zobayan’s experience; Gianna Bryant’s maturity and basketball dreams; and Kobe Bryant’s legendary sports accomplishments known worldwide, as well as his neighborly contributions known in Newport.

“Grief and despair have engulfed our tight-knit community,” said Mayor Will O’Neill, who signed nine notes of condolence on cards with the city seal. “Three families in our community lost mothers and daughters, two families lost fathers and we lost neighbors and friends. Our City Council could not start [the meeting] tonight any other way than by remembering each one of these well-loved men, women and young ladies.”

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