OCC Coach Death

The 9 victims from the helicopter crash in Calabasas. Photo Courtesy of: NBC Los Angeles

The 9 victims from the helicopter crash in Calabasas. Photo Courtesy of: NBC Los Angeles

On Sunday morning, January 26, 2020, the lives of nine people were taken in a helicopter accident on a hillside in Calabasas. 

Among those 9 people were Orange Community College coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri Altobelli, and their daughter, Alyssa Altobelli. All of them were on their way to Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks for a tournament when the accident took place. 

“Honestly, it is really devastating that not only did he pass away, but so did his daughter and wife. When I first heard about the news, I couldn’t believe that Kobe had passed away, it just didn’t sound right. Then, later, they identified the other people and that’s when we found out about the OCC coach and other people, but I felt really sad for his players, family, and the two other kids he left behind.” says Jazmin Cortez (10).

John and Keri Altobelli left two kids behind, John James Altobelli and Alexis Altobelli. He also left his baseball team, which he led to four California state junior college titles, earning him the title of National Coach of the Year in 2019. 

“When I heard about all of those people that had died in the helicopter accident, I just couldn’t believe it. It’s crazy because it was just supposed to be a regular day for all of them and they were supposed to return safely back to their families, but, unfortunately, it wasn’t. I also couldn’t believe that Kobe and his daughter had died,” says Andrew Calvillo (11).

Altobelli and his daughter would always transport through a helicopter with former NBA star, Kobe Bryant, along with his own daughter, Gianna Bryant, to get to Mamba Academy in which both daughters played in. 

“All this news is very hard to read because it is very sad. I really feel so sorry for all the families that were affected by this. I personally wouldn’t know how to feel or how to react if that were to happen to me or someone close to me. This incident happening has been an eye-opener for me, I’ve realized I need to cherish every moment with my loved ones and always tell them I love them. Life is very short and we have to live it to the fullest.” says Kevin Montelongo (9).