The thick fog that was present on Sunday when Kobe Bryant and 8 other people flew in a helicopter that crashed was considered dangerous enough for police agencies to ground their choppers.

RELATED: Report: This Family Lost Three People in Today’s Helicopter Crash

So, how is it that Kobe’s helicopter was permitted to take off?

Who made that fateful decision?

The helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight others that crashed in the rugged hills outside Los Angeles was flying in foggy weather considered dangerous enough that local police departments had grounded their choppers.

The aircraft plunged into a steep hillside at about 9:45 a.m. Sunday, scattering debris over an area the size of a football field and killing everyone aboard. The accident unleashed an outpouring of grief around the world over the sudden loss of the all-time basketball great who spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Thousands of fans, many wearing Bryant jerseys and chanting his name, gathered outside the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, home of the Lakers and site of Sunday’s Grammy Awards, where Bryant was honored.

The 41-year-old Bryant, who perished with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was one of the game’s most popular players, an 18-time All-Star who helped lead the Lakers to five NBA championships.

The cause of the crash was unknown, but conditions at the time were such that the Los Angeles Police Department and the county sheriff’s department grounded their helicopters. [AP]

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It’s gut-wrenching to think that this tragedy may have been easily avoided by simply not flying that morning. Skipping the basketball practice and waiting for the fog to lift.

Obviously we won’t know until a full investigation is completed, but the fact that police officials grounded their choppers does lead one to believe that human error was likely at fault here.


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