Kobe Went to Pray Hours Before Helicopter Crash, Says Pastor

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Currents News Staff

While wreckage is being airlifted from the rugged California mountain-side where Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashed, the National Transportation Safety Board says it could take at least a year to learn why the chopper went down. 

It had been discovered that the aircraft lacked a key warning system which could have alerted the pilot to the fast approaching terrain.

Hours before the deadly accident, Kobe went to pray at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Newport Beach, California. 

Father Steve Sallot, the pastor there, saw Kobe right before that start of 7 a.m. Mass on Jan. 26.

“We shook hands, and I saw that he had blessed himself because there was a little Holy Water on his forehead,” he said. “So I knew that he gone into the chapel to pray, and he came out, blessed himself, and we spoke for a minute, shook hands, and off he went.” 

“Normally I don’t really chat with him, because he just kind of, he would come in and leave quietly,” Fr. Sallot explained, “and I respected that space for him.

It just so happened that I was coming in the same door as he was going out,” Fr. Sallot explained.

Kobe’s parish is now praying for his soul, that of his daughter and the seven others who died in the crash.