Three weeks after a helicopter crashed in upstate New York, killing 22 people, including several members of the Bryant family, Kobe Bryant’s widow said Friday that she still can’t stop thinking about the accident.
“I want accountability. I think that’s all people deserve,” Vanessa Bryant said in a video interview with CNN.
“The victims deserve to know why something like this happened, why somebody took the lives of their loved ones, and I’m sure that’s exactly what’s going through their minds. For them, for the rest of their lives.”
The helicopter crashed while en route to Syracuse Hancock International Airport in February from a private event in Poughkeepsie. The Bryant family, its longtime chauffeur and others in the group were on board, while the pilot was the sole survivor.
Two passengers were treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released from hospitals, while six more suffered more serious injuries, including a 14-year-old girl who required a heart transplant, state police said.
Kobe Bryant’s widow says she is focused on helping those affected by the crash
“I know that these families didn’t deserve to lose their loved ones like that. And I feel like I can do my part to help by sharing my story and sharing my grief with people that, for so long, nobody knew about my life,” Vanessa Bryant said in the video interview.
She said that the memory of the accident is a constant reminder of the grief and shame that she feels, which often causes her to withdraw from the world.
“So many things really got in the way, and really made me shut down. I didn’t want to do anything,” she said. “I felt like a freak. And I wasn’t doing a good job raising my kids. I wasn’t doing a good job for myself.
“I think that’s why I feel so alone. And I feel like I’m doing the best that I can do,” she said. “I can’t really put into words what it feels like to lose your kids, especially your kids at a young age.”
Vanessa Bryant has two daughters with her late husband.
She pleaded for more information on the crash, including why the helicopter crashed.
“It’s so hard,” she said. “I just want to know why. I know that nobody really knows. But that’s all people deserve to know. That’s all people deserve to know.”