The pilot in the helicopter crash with Kobe Bryant onboard had not ingested drugs or alcohol


The cause of the 26 January crash, which killed basketball star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and several others is still being investigated but a 180page report describing the post-mortem examination found that the pilot, 50-year-old Ara Zobayan, tested negative for drugs and alcohol.

Alyssa Altobelli, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser all died alongside the Bryants, and pilot Ara Zobayan when the helicopter crashed into a hill just north of Los Angeles. The death was certified as an accident, and was described as blunt trauma. Lawyers for his widow, Vanessa Bryant, have filed a lawsuit against the company that operated the helicopter. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner released autopsy reports on Friday. The coroner concluded that all nine on board sustained immediate fatal injuries.

The site of the fatal crash

“These injuries are rapidly if not instantly fatal,” wrote Juan Carrillo, senior deputy medical examiner, in Bryant’s report. The impact caused a crater and scattered debris over an area the size of a football field in the Calabasas hills. Zobayan was however an experienced pilot. The National Transportation Safety Board has not concluded what caused the crash on the outskirts of Los Angeles county but said there was no sign of mechanical failure in the Sikorsky S-76.


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