Authorities identify remains of Kobe Bryant, 3 others
Maris Federez • January 29, 2020 • 2536
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner has announced that they have already identified the body of four of the nine passengers of the private helicopter that crashed into a Calabasas, California, hillside on Sunday, US Pacific time.
The Coroner said the four bodies recovered, including that of NBA Legend Kobe Bryant, were officially identified through the use of fingerprints.
The other three bodies were that of Orange Coast College Basketball Coach John Altobelli, Sarah Chester – the mother of Payton Chester who was one of those who perished and Gianna Bryant’s teammate, and Ara Zobayan, the pilot.
Investigators are still working on identifying the five remaining bodies.
Initially, three of the nine fatalities were recovered on Sunday, while the other six were retrieved on Monday.
The Coroner’s office said they will immediately announce the names of the other five once they have confirmed their identities and have their respective families informed.
Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said investigation is still underway as to the cause of the crash of Bryant’s private Sikorsky S-76.
The investigators have flown drone over the crash site to secure needed videos. They have also gathered the debris of the chopper.
“We also worked with drones today, to document the scene and then we duplicated part of the flight path. So, we flew part of the end part of the flight path with our drones using ADSB data,” said NTSB member Jennifer Homendy.
Homendy said the chopper didn’t have flight data or cockpit voice recorder as it is not a requirement on the model of LA Lakers superstar’s chopper to have a black box.
However, the investigators were able to make use of the pilot’s ipad that was recovered at the crash site as he was using the foreflight app installed in it.
The app was a big help to the investigators in reviewing the flight plan and the other circumstances surrounding the accident.
“We were able to recover an iPad and a cell phone. We do not know if that’s the pilot’s iPad so we are going to take those personal electronic devices, we are going to send them back to our lab at headquarters for further analysis,” Homendy said.
Homendy further said that the preliminary information suggests that the chopper descended rapidly and crashed with a “high energy impact”.
“We know that the helicopter was at 2300 ft (700 meters) when it lost communication with air traffic control. The descent rate for the helicopter was over 2,000 ft (600 meters) a minute, so, we know that this was a high energy impact crash,” Homendy added. — (with details from Bernard Dadis) /mbmf
The word ‘grief’ is not enough to describe the pain of losing a love one.
Vanessa Bryant expressed her devastation on Instagram after her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash on Sunday (January 26).
“There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now,” she said.
There will be no words but only emptiness: in the shoes that will never set foot on the court, mugs that will never be filled during a beautiful Sunday morning, or family pictures that will never be the same.
Bryant also expressed her gratitude to the people who offered their support. She also asked everyone to grant them “the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality.”
“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them,” she said in her post.
She also offered her condolences to the other victims of the crash and called on the public to support the other families affected by the tragedy.
“To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org,” she said.—AAC
Investigators said on Tuesday (January 28) that the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant was involved in a “high energy impact crash” when it slammed into a hillside in foggy weather on Sunday, killing the basketball star and eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter.
“We know that the helicopter was at 2300 ft (700 meters) when it lost communication with air traffic control. The descent rate for the helicopter was over 2,000 ft (600 meters) a minute, so, we know that this was a high energy impact crash,” Jennifer Homendy, of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
As the helicopter crash probe entered its second full day in the foothills just outside Calabasas, about 40 miles (64 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, the NTSB investigators combed through the wreckage and used drones as they sought uncover the cause of the accident.
“We were able to recover an iPad and a cell phone. We do not know if that’s the pilot’s iPad so we are going to take those personal electronic devices, we are going to send them back to our lab at headquarters for further analysis,” said Homendy.
“We also worked with drones today, to document the scene and then we duplicated part of the flight path. So, we flew part of the end part of the flight path with our drones using ADSB data,” she added.
Low clouds, fog and limited visibility over the region at the time of the crash have emerged as a prominent focus of the investigation. (Reuters)
Filipino fans painted a giant mural of late basketball star Kobe Bryant together with his daughter Gianna inside a neighborhood basketball court in Taguig City on Tuesday (January 28) as a tribute to the late sportsman.
Bryant and his daughter were among the nine passengers killed in a helicopter crash in the Santa Monica foothills near Calabasas, California, United States on Sunday (January 26).
Fans painted the picture to pay tribute to Bryant, both as an athlete and as a father.
They started painting the mural on Monday and completed it overnight.
Basketball is one of the Philippines’ most popular sports, with makeshift courts popping up appearing in many neighborhoods and children frequently seen playing on the streets.
Bryant rocketed to fame as an 18-year-old rookie and played 20 years for the Los Angeles Lakers. Nicknamed the “Black Mamba”, he was named in the NBA all-star team 18 times and won five NBA championships.
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