Newly released autopsy reports are answering more questions about the tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others months after their fatal January helicopter crash. The documents, obtained by HollywoodLife, state that Kobe’s pilot Ara Zobayan tested negative for drugs and alcohol — including marijuana, fentanyl and opioids, among others — in a toxicology report detailed on page 13.
The deaths of Kobe, Gianna, and Ara, along with Payton Chester and her mother Chester, as well as Alyssa Altobelli, her parents Keri and John, and coach Christina Mauser, are again certified as an “accident” in the nine separate reports. “The cause of death is blunt trauma sustained during a commercial helicopter crash. The manner of death is accident,” Ara’s report reads, detailing that “the blunt force traumatic injuries sustained are considered rapidly fatal.”
The Sikorsky S-76B helicopter was flying at a speed of 184 MPH when it crashed into a Calabasas hill at around 9:06 a.m. PST on Sunday, Jan. 26. The group was flying from Orange County’s John Wayne Airport to Camarillo Airport, which is located near Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California where Gianna, Alyssa and Payton were scheduled to play a basketball game. The morning was unusually cloudy for Southern California, and the Los Angeles Police Air Support Division had grounded its own helicopters due to poor visibility that same day. A final photo of Kobe’s helicopter taken by a security camera and released by the National Transportation Safety Board shows the aircraft flying into a thick fog.
Kobe was only 41 years old at the time of his death, leaving behind his wife Vanessa Bryant, 38, and their three daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and baby Capri, 1. “The outpouring of love and support that my family has felt has been so up lifting. Thank you for your prayers,” Vanessa said at a public memorial held at Staples Center on Feb. 24. “[Gianna] was one of my very best friends. She loved putting a smile on everyone’s face…,” the mom-of-four said in her heartbreaking eulogy, going on to reflect on her husband of almost 19 years. “He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could put into words,” she said.