Christina Mauser, a girls’ basketball coach in California and the wife of a Tijuana Dogs vocalist, is one of the victims in the tragic helicopter crash that also killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.
In addition to the Bryants and Mauser, three members of the Altobelli family died in the crash. John Altobelli was a college baseball coach, and his daughter, Alyssa, played with Gianna on the basketball team Kobe coached. Altobelli’s wife, Keri, also perished. The pilot has been identified as Ara Zobayan. Two other victims died in the tragedy, but they haven’t yet been identified.
The helicopter slammed into a hillside in Calabasas, California on January 26, 2020, killing all on board.
Christina Mauser’s husband wrote about the tragedy on Facebook, confirming that his wife was a victim.
Here’s what you need to know:
Matt Mauser Wrote, ‘My Kids & I Are Devastated’
Christina’s husband, Matt Mauser, confirmed her sad death on Facebook, writing, “My kids and I are devastated. We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash. Please respect our privacy. Thank you for all the well wishes they mean so much.” On Facebook, Matt defines himself as a “Singer/Song Writer/Entertainer/Dad.”
Kevin Tripp of NBC News Radio wrote on Twitter, “One of the passengers on #KobeBryant helicopter was Christina Michelle Mauser of Huntington Beach. Her husband tells me that the 38-year-old mother loved helping coach basketball with Kobe’s team for girls. Their hearts break with everyone.”
In January, Matt wrote on Facebook, “Proud of my wife! She and Kobe did a clinic for WNBA players up at the Mamba Academy! Big Time Baby!” In 2018, he shared a photo of his wife and wrote, “14 years ago tonight, this girl walked into Hurricanes… and then it began!”
Christina Mauser Was a Girls’ Basketball Coach
Mayor Katrina Foley of Costa Mesa wrote on Twitter, “I just learned that our amazing Matt Mauser of TiajuanaDogs (sic) lost his wife Christina in the crash. She coached the girls team. This devastating tragedy gets worse by the hour. So much pain for so many local families. Our hearts are broken & grieving for the families impacted.”
Christina was a coach at Harbor Day School in Corona del Mar. According to CNN, Mauser was the assistant girls basketball coach at the private elementary school in Orange County.
Daily Beast reported that Christina was traveling to Mamba Sports Academy, which was Bryant’s basketball center, for a weekend turnout. She was a “high school standout,” the site reported.
Christina’s Husband Performs Lead Vocals for Tijuana Dogs
The Tijuana Dogs website describes Matt Mauser’s role in the band as “lead vocals.”
“Music is the heart and soul of Huntington Beach local and entertainer, Matt Mauser. From a young age, Matt would sing and dance while making up his own lyrics to Elvis songs as his father played the guitar,” the site says.
“At the ripe age of seven, Matt got his first job selling stereos and speakers at the Orange County Swap Meet alongside his uncle. While working, Matt was exposed to his 17-year-old uncle’s music favorites, which included rock bands like Led Zepplin, Aerosmith, Queen, and Van Halen. On his eighth birthday his mom bought him his first guitar, and he wrote his first song that week.”
The website continues, “In 1997 Matt founded the party/dance/rock band, Tijuana Dogs, and their unique style was met with rave reviews. In addition to his wide vocal range, Matt is well known for his dance moves and on-stage antics – so much so that his fans created #MovesLikeMauser; a hashtag that can be found across nearly all social media outlets.”
People Offered Tributes on Social Media for Christina Mauser
Tributes flowed into social media for Christina and her family.
“R.I.P. Christina Mauser, girls basketball coach (where Kobe’s daughter attended school) also killed in the helicopter crash,” a woman wrote on Facebook. “Yes, everyone who died today made a difference in someone’s life. Her husband is Matt Mauser, current drummer for Orange County’s Rock & Roll Band “Tijuana Dogs” and they also have kids??.”
Another person wrote, “RIP Christina Mauser, wife of Tijuana Dogs frontman, Matt Mauser. #RIPChristina #OrangeCounty The TJDs were huge as I was growing up & are well known members of the OC community. Christina was a b-ball coach, Matt, a teacher. My heart goes out to Matt and his family tonight.”
READ NEXT: Remembering the Altobelli Family.