The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner on Friday released its examination reports for the nine victims of the January helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna.
The coroner had certified two days after the crash that the cause of death for all nine was blunt trauma. It said the manner of death was “accident.”
The helicopter was taking its passengers to Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy when it crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, CA on a morning that had been seeing heavy fog. There were no survivors.
The victims also included Orange Coast College head baseball coach John Altobelli; his wife Keri Altobelli; their 13-year-old daughter Alyssa Altobelli; Christina Mauser, a basketball coach at Harbor Day School in Newport Beach, CA; Payton Chester, a basketball teammate of Gianna’s; and her mother, Sarah Chester. The pilot, Ara Zobayan, also was killed.
A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board in February found no evidence of engine failure. While heavy on facts, it offered no conclusions as to a cause of the accident. The full report could take 12-18 months.
NTSB member Jennifer Homendy had said the aircraft was descending at 2,000 feet per minute when it went down, “so we know this was a high-energy-impact crash.” She said investigators are looking at, “but not just focusing on” weather as a possible cause of the crash and noted that there was “no criminal aspect of this investigation.”
The coroner’s case status on all nine victims are now closed.
Bryant’s death reverberated across the sports world. A memorial service at Staples Center sold out and featured speakers from his widow Vanessa to Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal and musical performances by Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera.
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