State of Illinois previously owned helicopter in crash that killed Kobe Bryant
The state sold the helicopter in 2015 to ease budgetary pressures.
The helicopter that crashed in California Sunday morning killing nine people, including former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and one of his daughters, was formerly owned by the state of Illinois.
Capitol News Illinois broke the ownership story Sunday evening.
“The beleaguered state of Illinois checkbook has received a welcome, if small, deposit with the sale of surplus aircraft,” wrote the Associated Press in August 2015.
The state sold five aircraft, including a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter, for $2.5 million. State government used the helicopter from 2007 to 2015, according to ownership records hosted on helicopter information database Helis.
Illinois has failed to balance a state budget in any year since 2001 and has been home to the lowest credit rating of any state since 2010, according to Moody’s Investors Service, due largely to the nation’s most severe pension crisis.