Kobe Bryant's autopsy findings have been released

Publish Date
Saturday, 16 May 2020, 10:44PM
Getty Images

Getty Images

The pilot flying Kobe Bryant and seven others when their helicopter crashed into a hillside outside Los Angeles did not have alcohol or drugs in his system.

Reports by the Los Angeles County coroner's office also revealed all nine passengers sustained immediately fatal injuries during the crash, describing broken bones, dismembered body parts and a stench of fuel on what remained of clothing that burned.

Bryant's body was reportedly unrecognisable in the dirt outside the helicopter, with his remains having to be identified by his fingerprints.

"These injuries are rapidly if not instantly fatal," Juan Carrillo, senior deputy medical examiner, said in Bryant's report.

The autopsy noted a tattoo of a crown on his right shoulder, above where his wife's name, Vanessa, was imprinted. On the lower right arm were the names of three of his four daughters: Bianka Bella, Natalia Diamante and Gianna Maria-Onore, the daughter who died with him.

Bryant's youngest daughter, Capri Kobe, only 7 months old when her father died, was not mentioned.

The National Transportation Safety Board have not concluded what caused the crash but said there was no sign of mechanical error.

It noted, however, that the aircraft did not have a Terrain Awareness and Warning System, which signals when an aircraft is in danger of hitting the ground. The system is not mandatory for helicopters but both California's senators have since called for the FAA to mandate the devices in the wake of the tragedy.

In late February, Vanessa Bryant filed a lengthy lawsuit alleging that Zobayan was careless and negligent to fly in the fog and should have aborted the flight.

She also filed a claim against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department after deputies allegedly shared unauthorised photos of the crash site.

Zobayan's brother, Berge Zobayan, said in a court filing that Bryant knew the risks of helicopter flying and his survivors aren't entitled to damages from the pilot's estate.

Meanwhile, the helicopter company, Island Express, said they are not responsible for damages, calling the crash "an act of God" and "an unavoidable accident" that was beyond their control.

The crash remains considered accidental.

A final report is not expected for months.

-nzherald.co.nz