Kobe Bryant's tragic death Sunday led to quite a bit of scrambling on the part of reporters anxious to get every detail first. During that process, a number of elements of the helicopter crash that led to Bryant's death were incorrectly reported and later proven to be false.
One such detail involves the presence of Bryant's former teammate, Rick Fox, in the helicopter that crashed. While the origin of the rumor that Fox was one of the passengers in the crash is unknown at this time, that false information spread quickly across social media. Later Sunday, a number of reporters confirmed that Fox was not in the crash. Jared Greenberg of NBATV spoke with Fox himself and confirmed that he was not involved.
"At this time, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has only revealed that there were nine people on the helicopter at the time of the crash. Those people have not yet been identified, though various sources have confirmed that Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among them. Separate reporting has also confirmed that John Altobelli, a baseball coach at Orange Coast College, was alongside his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa."
Despite the falsehood of the rumor, Fox is still trending on Twitter as of this writing. While tracing the belief back to its source would be impossible at this point, the mere fact that his name became entangled with Bryant's death prematurely points to the irresponsible manner in which some reporters have handled the news. A number of falsehoods about passengers on board the helicopter have spread through social media.
Until the Sheriff's Department receives a report from the coroner, it will not publicly reveal who was on the helicopter with Bryant. It has been confirmed, however, that Fox was not among them.