Officials have released the cause of death for Kobe Bryant and the rest of the victims in the deadly helicopter crash after working around the clock to identify all the decedents and perform examinations.
An update was sent Wednesday night by the Los Angeles County Dept. of Medical Examiner-Coroner. The department stated, “Through the use of DNA and fingerprints, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner has identified all nine of the victims who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.”
After identifying the first four victims in the crash, they still had to work to figure out the identities of the remaining five, including Gigi Bryant, Payton Chester, Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli and Christina Mauser.
“Following round-the-clock testing and analysis of DNA, the department officially identified the five other occupants in the helicopter crash and notified their legal next of kin,” officials explained.
The coroner also said that “body examinations” were performed on all the decedents, including Kobe Bryant.
“Tuesday body examinations were performed on all nine decedents. Their causes of death were certified as blunt trauma. The manner of death was certified as accident.”
The NTSB is continuing to investigate the crash, but has been very forthcoming with the information they have gathered so far.
The National Transportation Safety Board held a press conference on Tuesday and updated the public with some surprising information. Kobe Bryant’s helicopter was not equipped with a terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) which alerts pilots when an aircraft gets too close to terrain and could have possibly warned pilot Ara Zobayan about his proximity during the doomed flight.
During the press conference, investigators revealed that the helicopter clipped a ridge only 20 – 30 feet from the top of a hillside before plummeting for 1 full minute before making a high velocity impact. The dense fog made it near impossible to see, which again would not have been an issue if TAWS were equipped on the aircraft.
Vanessa Bryant put out a statement Wednesday evening as she and her daughters are reeling from the loss of their husband, father, sister and daughter … as well as for the other families affected by the deadly crash.
“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.”