Autopsy Reports for Kobe Bryant, Daughter Gigi and 7 Victims of Fatal Helicopter Crash Released

Kobe Bryant and Gianna died in a helicopter crash on Sunday outside of Los Angeles.
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Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, and the seven others killed in a helicopter crash in January died from blunt trauma, newly released autopsy reports state. The findings came nearly four months after the devastating January crash in Calabasas, California. 

The reports were released Friday by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. "On Jan. 28, the cause of death for all nine decedents was certified as blunt trauma. The manner of death was certified as accident," the autopsy reports said.

In addition to the basketball legend and his teen daughter, the crash claimed the lives of 13-year-old Payton Chester; Sarah Chester, 46; 14-year-old Alyssa Altobelli; Keri Altobelli, 46; John Altobelli, 56; Christina Mauser, 38; and the helicopter's pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.

The group was on their way to a basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy's Thousand Oaks location the morning of the crash. All involved were pronounced dead at the scene. 

“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,” Kobe's wife and Gianna's mother Vanessa wrote in January.

Vanessa and Kobe had been married since 2001 and had four children together. 

"I'm not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it's impossible to imagine life without them," Vanessa also wrote. "But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way."

Following the crash, Vanessa filed a wrongful death suit against the estate of late pilot Ara Zobayan as well as Island Express Helicopters, the company that owned the helicopter.

Vanessa claimed claimed the pilot "had a duty to use that degree of care that an ordinarily careful and prudent pilot would use under the same or similar circumstances." Vanessa’s lawsuit also alleged that Island Express Helicopters had "advance knowledge of the unfitness" of Ara due to a previous violation in 2015. She is asking for punitive damages.

Island Express Helicopters has responded to Vanessa’s claims in the court documents obtained by "Entertainment Tonight" saying passengers “had actual knowledge of all of the circumstances, particular dangers, and an appreciation of the risks involved and the magnitude thereof, and proceeded to encounter a known risk, and voluntarily assume the risk of the accident, injury, and damages."

The company maintains the incident was “an unavoidable accident and not proximately caused by any alleged act or omission on the part."

Berge Zobayan, Ara's brother, also responded to Vanessa's wrongful death suit, saying the passengers were responsible for their fatal January 26 helicopter crash.

"Any injuries or damages to plaintiffs and/or their decedent were directly caused in full or in part by the negligence or fault of plaintiffs and/or their decedent, including their knowing and voluntary encounter with the risks involved, and that this negligence was a substantial factor in causing their purported damages, for which this answering defendant bears no responsibility," the documents filed by Berge on May 8 and obtained by ET claimed.

Poor visibility due to thick fog has been cited as what brought down the helicopter that fateful Sunday.

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