HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — A crowd gathered at the Huntington Beach Pier Saturday for a candlelight vigil in memory of Christina Mauser who was killed in the helicopter crash that also took the life of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant.
The community joined at the Huntington Beach Pier as the sun was setting at 6 p.m. “to share memories and grieve together,” according to a Facebook event page.
“She was just an incredible person in every way,” said event organizer and friend Riley McIntosh. “An incredible athlete, incredible friend, mother, someone who was hilarious and had so much energy. If you knew her, she impacted you in some way.”
Mauser, 38, was a coach for the Mamba girls basketball team and at Harbor Day School in Corona del Mar, where Gianna Bryant was also a student.
The wife and mother of three was among the nine who died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas Sunday as they headed to Thousand Oaks for a basketball game. Also killed in the crash was Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna, Orange Coast College head baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, Sarah and Payton Chester, and pilot Ara Zobayan.
“Christina was many things,” said one young girl who spoke at the vigil. “She was kind, loving, sweet and funny. I loved her so much like she was one of my moms.”
Her husband Matt Mauser told Anderson Cooper the days following his wife’s death were an emotional roller coaster.
“I’m up, I’m down, I cry for no reason whatsoever, and then I’m OK,” he said. “I woke up this morning and I said, ‘I’m OK. I think I’m OK.’ Then I walked out, then I started to cry. Then I saw my kids and I started to cry.”
“But I’m just trying to be open to not judging myself if I’m hurting, or if the kids are hurting, not judging them.”
A donation area was available for those who wished to contribute.