January 26 is marked as a ‘dark day’ in the world of sports. Basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his teenaged daughter and seven others died in a helicopter crash. For millions of his fans around the world, it is still excruciating to believe that ‘Mamba’ is no more.
Three months after his death, an autopsy has revealed that Bryant died of blunt trauma with disastrous brain injuries and 30 per cent burns.
The autopsy also said that the pilot flying Bryant and others to a basketball tournament did not consume alcohol or drugs in his system. All nine sustained severe injuries when their helicopter crashed in January into a hillside outside Los Angeles, USA.
Bryant had to be recognised from his fingerprints after his body was found outside the debris of the helicopter. The NBA star was killed along with his daughter Gianna.
The report which was revealed made it clear that the basketball star and his co-travellers lost their lives in an instant due to blunt trauma. Juan Carrillo, Senior Deputy Medical Examiner, said, “These injuries are rapidly if not instantly fatal.”
“On January 28, the cause of death for all nine decedents was certified as blunt trauma. The manner of death was certified as accident,” states the autopsy report.
The crash that killed the former Los Angeles Lakers star, his daughter Gianna, pilot Ara Zobayan and the others are measured accidental.
Zobayan, an experienced pilot in January headed towards Mamba Sports Academy in California with Bryant, his daughter and her teammates. The pilot climbed sharply and had nearly thrived, breaking the clouds when the helicopter took a sudden turn and leapt into hills.
When it hit the ground, it was flying at about 296 kph, as a result, the effect caused helicopter and dispersed debris. Flames immersed the debris, but burns on the bodies were determined to have happened after death.
The autopsy stated Bryant’s tattoo of a crown on his right shoulder, above where his wife’s name, Vanessa, was inked also on the right arm were the names of three of his four daughters.
The National Transportation Safety Board has not settled the reason behind the crash but stated that there was no sign of mechanical failure in the helicopter.
Bryant’s wife, Vanessa has already filed a lawsuit claiming that the pilot was ‘careless and negligent to fly in the fog’ and should have terminated the flying.
Zobayan’s brother, Berge Zobayan has also filed in court and has stated that ‘Bryant knew the risks of the helicopter and his survivors aren’t entitled to damages from the pilot’s estate’.