The L.A. County Coroner put out an alert Monday morning updating the public on the recovery efforts during the crash and death investigation. The recovery of the bodies is being handled by a special unit, which the medical examiner detailed:
“Special Operations Response Team (SORT) are advancing their efforts today in recovering bodies from a helicopter crash that occurred in Calabasas on Sunday.”
The announcement continued, and explained that only so much was able to be done on Sunday due to darkness and the safety of the recovery team as they navigate the terrain of the crash site:
“Yesterday afternoon, investigators recovered three bodies from the helicopter wreckage located in the 4200 block of Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas. However, efforts were suspended due to darkness and safety concerns.
Last night, the bodies retrieved from the site were transported to the department’s Forensic Science Center for identification and examination.”
Officials have not revealed whose bodies were recovered from the crash so far.
As Monday daylight hit, officials were back out in the mountains searching for the remaining 6 victims.
“Today, the search continues in the Calabasas mountainside for the other occupants in the fatal helicopter crash.”
Along with Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, GiGi, the other 7 victims in the crash have been identified.
John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and the pilot, Ara Zobayan.
Alyssa Altobelli was a teammate on GiGi’s basketball team, and her father John was well known baseball coach. Christina Mauser was also an accomplished basketball coach.
As many are looking for answers amid the tragedy, some explanation is starting to come out about what went wrong during the doomed helicopter flight. The morning of January 26 was extremely foggy around Los Angeles, and in fact, some law enforcement agencies had even grounded their helicopters from flying due to the possibility of a dangerous situation. However, Kobe’s helicopter was private and it appears the pilot did feel he could make the flight. However, due to the flight pattern and communication with nearby radio towers, the pilot quickly realized it was too foggy to see anything or judge the surrounding area.
After circling for a long time and trying to double back on the flight path, it is believed the pilot misjudged his proximity to the mountain, which caused a collision at full speed.