Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The daughter of hip-hop legend Eric B. has died after being hospitalized following a serious car crash in Connecticut.

Erica Barrier was driving on the I-91 highway early on Sunday when her Mini Cooper Countryman car "stopped in the center lane" and was rear-ended by an oncoming truck.

According to the police report, the 28-year-old sustained "serious injuries" and was transported to Hartford Hospital, where she died on Monday evening.

A statement shared by the hip hop legend's publicist Alvina Alston on her MoreMedia Instagram account confirms the news, reading: "She fought a valiant fight, however we trust God & His ultimate decision to bring her home. We want to sincerely thank everyone from around the world for the outpouring of support and love during this difficult time. Please continue to keep our family in prayer as we now prepare to lay Erica to rest."

The statement added: "This was an unfortunate vehicular accident that claimed her life however, and it’s also crucial that we pray for the other driver involved. Our hearts also go out to him and his family as we hold no ill will in our hearts for those involved."

The driver of the truck was not injured, and an investigation into the accident is ongoing.

Photo by Johnny Louis/WENN.com

DJ Eric B., real name Louis Eric Barrier, 56, was one half of rap pioneers Eric B. & Rakim. The duo reigned in an era of Hip-Hop when DJs received top billing on records. Their album Paid in Full was named the greatest Hip-Hop album of all time by MTV in 2016.

Source: WENN.com

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The bodies of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant were reportedly released to their family following their tragic deaths last month.

According to Us Weekly, the remains were released by the Los Angeles County coroner's office on Sunday, Feb. 2, in preparation for their funeral - expected to take place next week.

Photo by KIKA/WENN.com

Kobe, 41, and Gianna, 13, were among nine people killed when their helicopter crashed into a hillside in dense fog on Jan. 26. They were remembered in various ways at Super Bowl LIV in Miami on Sunday, WENN.com reports.

Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Images of Kobe and Gianna, as well as Pro Football Hall of Famer Chris Doleman, who died last week, were shown on big screens as the crowd fell silent.

Later, singers Jennifer Lopez and Shakira paid tribute to Kobe during their Halftime Show, when an overhead shot of the field during a performance of Jennifer's "Let's Get Loud" showed a huge cross lit up in purple and yellow - the colors of Kobe's former team, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Island Express Helicopters, the charter service that employed Kobe's pilot, Ara Zobayan, are under investigation following reports that Zobayan, 50, was not as experienced flying under instrument rules only.

According to the FAA, Island Express's pilots were authorized to fly under visual flight rules only, meaning they had to be able to clearly see the ground and other aircraft while in the air.

Island Express has grounded their fleet of six Sikorsky S-76B choppers until the investigation is completed. The company was involved in four helicopter crashes previously.

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Photos: Getty Images, Facebook

Island Express Helicopters, the charter company that employed Kobe Bryant's pilot, has grounded its fleet of choppers as the FAA reports pilot Ara Zobayan was not cleared to fly in dense fog conditions.

Zobayan, 50, piloted the chopper that was chartered to carry Kobe, 41, his daughter Gianna, 13, and six other passengers from Newport Beach to Camarillo.

The tower lost contact with Zobayan about 2 minutes after warning him that he was too low to be tracked on radar.

The chopper descended rapidly and flew at top speed into a hillside near Calabasas. The crash left debris scattered over 500 feet.

The company which owns six Sikorsky S-76B choppers grounded its fleet as the investigation into Sunday's tragic crash continues.

Zobayan, who was licensed to fly under instrument rules, didn't have the legal authority to fly in fog because the company didn't have necessary certification.

Pilot Kurt Deetz, who previously ferried Kobe to destinations in the same helicopter, said Zobayan wasn't as experienced flying under instruments only.

Deetz said the pilot likely didn't have experience flying with instruments only because of the company's operating limitations.

"There is only one way you can be in the clouds, on an I.F.R. (instrument flight rules) flight plan or by accident," Deetz said.

Air traffic controllers at Burbank Airport had given Zobayan special visual flight rules clearance to fly with lower visibility due to the foggy conditions. The visibility that day was 3-5 miles - enough distance to see obstacles in front of his windscreen.

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Photo: State of Illinois

The Sikorsky S-76B is the largest and most luxurious helicopter. It is favored by celebrities and wealthy executive clients because of the roomy cabin. The same chopper with a different tail number was previously owned by the state of Illinois (pictured).

Island Express specialized in short hops from Long Beach, California to Catalina Island. A one-way ticket for a 15 minute trip to Catalina Island cost anywhere from $75 to $150 per passenger.

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Photos: Getty Images, Facebook

An eyewitness says Kobe Bryant's pilot, Ara Zobayan, 50, was flying in a circle "aggressively," about 30 minutes before the helicopter crashed into a mountain above Calabasas, California.

The helicopter went down about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles at 9:47 a.m. Sunday, killing the 41-year-old NBA legend, his daughter Gianna, 13, and six other passengers.

An eyewitness captured the moment Bryant's helicopter was circling over Glendale, California for 15 minutes in foggy weather.

"I try and video/photograph all the weird stuff happening above my house in Glendale, CA," a Twitter user wrote under the handle @theironlydreams.

"Unfortunately this morning I didn't realize I was filming the helicopter Kobe Bryant, his daughter and others were in 31 minutes before they crashed."

According to a tweet from the same user, the pilot was performing a very aggressive circling maneuver, that's why I went outside to Film because it was so loud."

The user said the Sikorsky S-76B chopper was flying lower and lower over his house, "engine maxed."

Robert Ditchey, a veteran pilot, aeronautical engineer and former airline executive, told USA Today that the crash was "totally avoidable".

"And on the part of some people I can go as far as to say irresponsible," Ditchey said.

Aviation experts who studied the helicopter's bizarre flight path and weather maps observed that the pilot flew away from the airport and he had enough visibility to see the hills before he flew into them.

Aviation officials and law enforcement officials are reportedly investigating whether Zobayan was suicidal at the time of the crash.

Federal aviation officials are looking into Zobayan's background and interviewing his friends and family to determine whether he had financial or personal problems.

"All signs point to a CFIT [controlled flight into terrain]," an aviation source told The Washington Examiner.

A controlled flight into terrain is an accident in which a pilot intentionally or inadvertently flies an aircraft into the ground, a mountain, a body of water, or an obstacle such as a building.

Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

An air traffic controller warned Zobayan at least twice that he was flying too low to be tracked by radar.

Audio captured by LiveATC.net revealed that the pilot said he was climbing to avoid clouds when he suddenly veered off path above U.S. Route 101. Seconds later, he crashed into the hillside.

The transmissions between the pilot and the tower reveals the air traffic controllers didn't know what Zobayan was doing.

Minutes before the crash, a controller told Zobayan "you're still too low level" to be tracked by radar.

About four minutes later, "the pilot advised they were climbing to avoid a cloud layer," Jennifer Homendy of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said Monday.

It was the pilot's last contact with the tower.

"When ATC asked what the pilot planned to do, there was no reply," Homendy said. Radar indicates the helicopter climbed to 2,300 feet and then began a left descending turn."

Two minutes later, someone called 911 to report the crash.

Zobayan was flying under visual flight rules (VFR), meaning he was relying on his eyesight to see the ground below him rather than using the helicopter's more accurate instrument panel to determine his elevation.

Aviation experts say a pilot with Zobayan's experience should have avoided the hills in dense fog, not flown toward them.

Flight tracking data shows the pilot flying erratically up, down, sideways, up then rapidly descending 1,700 feet.

The helicopter was flying at 184mph and descending at a rate of 4,000 feet per minute when it struck the hillside, according to Flightradar24.

The rapid ascents and descents would have sparked terror among the passengers.

At the time of the crash, the fog ceiling was about 1,300 feet above ground with a visibility of 5 miles. The pilots believe Zobayan would have seen the mountain before he flew into it.

Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Aviation officials and law enforcement officials are reportedly investigating whether Kobe Bryant's helicopter pilot was suicidal at the time of the crash that killed the NBA legend and 7 other passengers.

Aviation experts who studied the helicopter's bizarre flight path and weather maps observed that the pilot flew away from the airport and he had enough visibility to see the hills before he flew into them.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), alongside the FBI are investigating whether pilot Ara Zobayan flew a controlled flight into terrain or CFIT.

A controlled flight into terrain is an accident in which a pilot intentionally or inadvertently flies an aircraft into the ground, a mountain, a body of water, or an obstacle such as a building.

"All signs point to a [controlled flight into terrain]," an aviation source told The Washington Examiner.

An air traffic controller warned Zobayan at least twice that he was flying too low to be tracked by radar.

Federal aviation officials are looking into Zobayan's background and interviewing his friends and family to determine whether he had financial or personal problems.

Suicide by pilot is an event in which a pilot intentionally crashes an aircraft in an attempt to kill himself and sometimes passengers.

The suicide by pilot theory was considered after flight data shows Zobayan flew too low and turned away from the airport toward the hilly terrain in the final seconds before the crash that killed the NBA legend, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and 6 other passengers.

The crash also killed college baseball coach John Altobelli, 56; his wife, Keri; and their daughter Alyssa Altobelli, who played on the same basketball team with Gianna. Another young basketball player, Payton Chester, was also killed along with her mother, Sarah Chester; and Christina Maurer, a girls basketball coach at Harbor Day School, a private elementary school.

Zobayan, 50, was an experienced licensed commercial pilot of 12 years, a certified flight instructor of 2 years and a ground instructor of 11 years, according to federal aviation records.

Audio captured by LiveATC.net revealed that the pilot said he was climbing to avoid clouds when he suddenly veered off path above U.S. Route 101. Seconds later, he crashed into the hillside.

Zobayan was flying under visual flight rules (VFR), meaning he was relying on his eyesight to see the ground below him rather than using the helicopter's more accurate instrument panel to determine his elevation.

Disoriented pilots often follow Route 101 when flying by sight only.

Aviation expert Philip Greenspun told The Weather Channel: "You have to really follow [Route] 101 carefully if you want to avoid the hills. Once you mistakenly point the helicopter toward the hills due to, perhaps, being in a cloud or the visibility being really low, the only way to get away from the hills is by turning. Not by climbing into them."

Aviation experts say a pilot with Zobayan's experience should have flown away from the hills in dense fog, not toward them.

Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Bryant's former pilot, Kurt Deetz, has claimed that the Sikorski S-76B was "almost bulletproof" and would not have dropped out of the sky and crashed into a hillside.

Deetz said the helicopter was like a "limousine" that was in "fantastic" condition and it was "so reliable" that it wouldn't just "fall out of the sky."

"There aren't a lot of people readily qualified to fly it," Deetz told CNN on Monday. "They don't just fall out of the sky."

Deetz told the L.A. Times that the crash likely occurred due to dense fog rather than engine or mechanical problems. The weather was so bad that local police departments grounded their choppers.

"The likelihood of a twin engine failure on that aircraft - it just doesn't happen," he said.

The $13 million helicopter was 29 years old and logged "more than 7.4 million hours of safe flight.

In his final transmission to the tower Zobayan told an air traffic controller he was climbing to avoid a cloud layer.

Pilots who spoke with TMZ said they believe Zobayan panicked and ascended 2,000 feet in order to clear a mountain.

Flight tracking data shows he then rapidly descended 1,700 feet in what may have been an attempt to fly under the fog.

At the time of the crash, the fog ceiling was about 1,300 feet above ground with a visibility of 5 miles. The pilots believe Zobayan would have seen the mountain before he flew into it.

Several of the pilots agree that Zobayan should have switched to Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) and climbed above the fog rather than descend.

An air traffic controller warned Zobayan that he was flying too low to be seen on radar. "Two Echo X-ray, you are still too low for flight following at this time."

The tail number of Bryant's helicopter was N72EX.

Seconds later, the helicopter reportedly plunged nearly 500 feet in 15 seconds before it crashed into the hillside above Calabasas.

The crash site is only 17 miles from the Mamba Sports Academy, where the group was heading to attend a girls basketball tournament.

Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

When it struck the hillside, the helicopter was flying at about 184mph and descending at a rate of 4,000 feet per minute, according to Flightradar24. The wreckage was scattered over the length of a football field.

The rugged terrain complicated efforts to recover the remains. Only three bodies were recovered by Monday, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office.

Medical examiner, Dr. Jonathan Lucas, estimated it would take a couple more days to recover the rest of the bodies.

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