Nearly four months after the tragic helicopter crash occurred, TMZ reported a new detail about pilot Ara Zobayan, who was flying the aircraft in which Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and several others perished. According to the publication, there were no drugs in Zobayan's system at the time of the crash, which occurred on Jan. 26. This news comes after Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, sued Zobayan and Island Express, the company from which they chartered the helicopter.
TMZ reported that the Los Angeles County Coroner released the autopsy reports for all nine victims in the helicopter crash. The outlet noted the coroner's office explicitly conducted a toxicology report for Zobayan, given that he piloted the aircraft at the time of the incident. The report reportedly specified, "Toxicological testing did not detect the presence of alcohol or drugs of abuse. Substances tested for include: benzodiazepines, cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, marijuana, opioids, phencyclidine, and amphetamines." The autopsy report from the L.A. County Coroner also noted that all of the victims of the crash died as a result of blunt force trauma. Furthermore, the cases for all nine of the victims have been closed, and the location of their deaths was "mountain side."
Kobe, Gianna, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser and Zobayan were all traveling to the Mamba Sports Academy for a basketball tournament at the time of the tragic incident. As previously mentioned, Kobe's widow, Vanessa, and the surviving families of the other passengers would be suing Zobayan and the company that chartered the helicopter, Island Express. In the lawsuit, they have claimed that the pilot was traveling at a high rate of speed before the crash and that he failed to monitor the weather before taking off.
The lawsuit also claimed that Island Express only allows their aircraft to fly under visual flight rules and that the weather conditions on Jan. 26 were not "conducive for such flying." Just this past week, a representative for the company addressed these claims in a statement. In their message, they alleged that the passengers were responsible for the crash. The representative said, "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."