The Los Angeles County coroner and medical examiner's office released the autopsy reports for Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant. The father and daughter died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Jan. 26, along with six other passengers and the pilot. The cause of death for all nine victims was "certified" as blunt trauma, and the manner of death was previously determined to be an accident on Jan. 28.
The reports note that the cases for all nine victims have been closed and lists "mountain side" as the place of death. The victims of the crash were Bryant, 41; Gianna, 13; John Altobelli, 56; Keri Altobelli, 46; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Payton Chester, 13; Sarah Chester, 45; Christina Mauser, 38; and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50. Bryant and the passengers were on their way to the Mamba Sports Academy for a Sunday morning basketball tournament at the time of the crash.
The autopsy report for Zobayan noted that toxicology tests were performed and no drugs or alcohol were found in his system. "Toxicological testing did not detect the presence of alcohol or drugs of abuse," the report reads, reports TMZ. "Substances tested for include: benzodiazepines, cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, marijuana, opioids, phencyclidine, and amphetamines."
Bryant's widow, Vanessa Bryant, and family members of the other victims are suing the pilot and his employer, Island Express. In Vanessa's wrongful death lawsuit, she said the pilot was flying at 180 miles per hour in heavy fog and was not monitoring the weather before taking off. The lawsuit also notes that Zobayan was previously disciplined in 2015 for flying during reduced visibility. Vanessa is seeking damages for the "pain and anguish" she and her three surviving daughters have suffered since Bryant's death.
Earlier this week, a representative for Island Express responded to Vanessa's lawsuit, alleging that the passengers were responsible for the crash, not Zobayan. "Any injuries or damages to plaintiffs and/or their decedent were directly caused in full or in part by the negligence or fault of plaintiffs and/or their decedent, including their knowing and voluntary encounter with the risks involved, and that this negligence was a substantial factor in causing their purported damages, for which this answering defendant bears no responsibility," the representative said.
Following Bryant's death, the Lakers hosted a Celebration of Life public memorial at the Staples Center on Feb. 24, a date that matched one of Bryant's retired jersey numbers. Vanessa spoke publicly for the first time, delivering a powerful eulogy for both Bryant and Gianna. She noted that God knew the two could not "be on this earth without each other."0comments
"Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nati, Bibi and Coco," Vanessa said at the time, referring to the couple's three other children. "We're still the best team. We love and miss you, Boo Boo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you. Forever and always. Mommy."
Bryant spent his entire 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and had both 8 and 24 retired by the team. He won five NBA Championships and was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player in 2008. He made the NBA All-Star Game 18 times and won Olympic gold medals with Team USA in 2008 and 2012.