His 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant also died in the fatal crash.
Today, more details become available regarding the fatal crash and about the seven other victims who were also traveling with the retired Los Angeles Lakers player.
All nine people on board took off from Orange County's John Wayne Airport around 9 a.m. and headed north toward Kobe's Mamba Academy in the Thousand Oaks area, where his daughter and her teammates were scheduled to play in the Mamba Cup.
"Eric took this photo from our backyard right after the accident happened where Kobe, his daughter, and other beautiful souls were lifted up to be with God for eternity," Simpson began her lengthy Instagram post. "We could see emergency helicopters flying over our house and I felt the loss."