The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner released its report on the deaths of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna on Friday, May 15, nearly four months after their helicopter crash.
According to the reports, both Bryant and Gianna’s causes of death were blunt trauma.
The January 26 accident claimed the lives of all nine people aboard the helicopter: Bryant, 41; Gianna, 13; pilot Ara Zobayan, 50; Gianna’s basketball teammates Alyssa Altobelli, 14, and Payton Chester, 13; Alyssa’s parents, John Altobelli, 56, and Keri Altobelli, 46; Payton’s mother, Sarah Chester, 45; and coach Christina Mauser, 38.
The L.A. coroner’s office confirmed on January 30 that “after round-the-clock testing and analysis of DNA,” its team had determined that the cause of death for the nine victims was blunt trauma. The manner of death was certified as an accident.
Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in February against the company that owned the aircraft, Island Express Helicopters, claiming that the pilot was “negligent” and failed “to use ordinary care” by flying in foggy and potentially blinding conditions. The surviving members of the Altobelli and Mauser families followed Vanessa’s lead in April by suing the company for unspecified damages.
Island Express Helicopters argued in its response earlier this month that all of the passengers “had actual knowledge of all of the circumstances, particular dangers and an appreciation of the risks involved” by flying in the aircraft.
Vanessa, 38, has surrounded herself with family and friends since the tragedy, particularly her daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 10 months. The girls showered their mother with love on Mother’s Day and gave her gifts including a book titled Why I Love My Mom and a charcuterie board.
The former model has paid tribute to her late husband and daughter several times on social media, most recently while celebrating her birthday. She took to Instagram on May 5 to share a photo of a letter that she found from the Los Angeles Lakers legend, which she captioned, “The irony is that Kobe had a photo of me drawn with an Angel holding me up by an artist on the cover. Missing the Love of my Life and my sweet little Mamacita- my fellow Taurus. Grateful to wake up to my 3 sweet girls today. Wish we were all together.”