Hundreds turned out to remember Alyssa Altobelli in Newport Beach, California on Thursday (January 30), who was killed in a helicopter crash, along with her parents, Kobe Bryant and five others.
The eigth-grader, her father John and mother Keri died on Sunday (January 26) when the aircraft crashed in foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas.
The MC of the vigil, KC Campbell, told the crowd, “Alyssa and her family were a huge and wonderful part of our community here, filled with so much joy, love and kindness. We come here to honor the memory of these beautiful people, to pay our respects and to celebrate their lives and the love and happiness that they brought into the world.”
Alyssa’s classmates paid tribute to the family, holding candles and releasing paper mache balloons into the air.
The teenager’s neighbor, Brian Forbath, said he hopes the community would rally behind the surviving members of the Altobelli family.
“Alyssa had a strong support group of friends and so does her sister, and I think it’s important to remember that she has a sister, Lexi, who’s 16, 17, at Newport Harbor High School, she’s a junior, she’s a great kid, and she’s an orphan now. She’s got a great brother, who I’m sure will help take care of her. But hopefully the community support will stay and keep her as part of our own.”
(Production: Cath Turner, Alan Devall)