Fog before Kobe Bryant’s fatal crash 'thick' like milk, witness says

Scott Daehlin said he could hear the helicopter carrying the NBA legend, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others but could not see it.
3:36 | 01/28/20

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Transcript for Fog before Kobe Bryant’s fatal crash 'thick' like milk, witness says
Good evening and it's great to start another week with all of you at home. And we begin tonight with new reporting here after the awful news that basketball legend kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash along with eight others. Tonight, we've learned their stories, too. The news broke on Sunday, the untimely death of the sports legend who was flying to a youth basketball game with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others. No one survived. We have learned the helicopter was flying in fog that had grounded other helicopters. The sheriff's department was not flying. Tonight, the audio and the moment the helicopter goes off radar. The NTSB and FBI are on the scene tonight, and ABC's chief national affairs correspondent Tom llamas leads us off tonight from California. Reporter: Tonight, the NTSB with help from the FBI combing the scene of that deadly helicopter crash that killed NBA superstar kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven other people. The weather Sunday morning, bad enough that police departments did not fly their own helicopters, but Bryant's took off in heavy fog. How thick was that fog? It was thick. Imagine jumping into a pool filled with milk and opening your eyes. Reporter: Scott daehlin witnessed the crash. You can hear the helicopter and you can't see anything? I can't see anything. Hearing the helicopter, all of a sudden, helicopter's immediately above me, I can hear it but I can't see it. Reporter: Tonight, we're learning the identity of the pilot. Ara zobayan, who had more than 20 years of experience. According to authorities, Bryant's chopper departs Orange county for Thousand Oaks at 9:06 A.M., heading to his daughter's basketball game. At 9:20, the aircraft circles near Burbank in a holding pattern. He's been holding for about 15 minutes. Reporter: At 9:44, eyewitnesses report hearing a helicopter flying very low. Air traffic controllers inform the pilot they can't detect him on radar. N2ex, you're still too low level for flight following at this time. Reporter: Data shows that seconds prior to impact, the aircraft rapidly accelerated, slamming into a canyon near calabasas at 9:45 A.M. Among those killed, John Altobelli, a baseball coach, his wife, Keri, and their 13-year-old daughter, Alyssa. Also onboard, Christina Mauser, an assistant basketball coach and mother of three. How do you tell a child their mommy is no longer with us? Reporter: For years, Bryant regularly commuted by helicopter to avoid L.A. Traffic and have more time with his family. He spoke about it in 2018. I had to figure out a way where I could still train and focus on the craft, but still not compromise family time. So that's when I looked into helicopters, to be able to get down and back in 15 minutes and that's when it started. At this time, we ask that you please rise. Reporter: The shock of the tragedy quickly spreading across the globe. NBA players openly weeping during pregame tributes. They're going to take a 24-second violation in honor of This guy was like a pied piper. People would follow him everywhere just to look at him, to touch him, for him to say hello. For me, this is a god awful day. And Tom, this is being felt by so many and the NBA just announcing before we came on the air that the lakers/clippers game scheduled for tomorrow night has now been postponed? Reporter: That's right, David. The league says they made that decision out of deep respect for the Lakers, which are deeply mourning this tragic loss. And David, we have to remember, this investigation is just getting started, along with the recovery effort. It could take days, if not weeks, because of the steep terrain to get up there and figure out what exactly happened.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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