/  01.29.2020


Authorities reportedly retrieved three bodies from the devastating helicopter crash on Sunday (Jan. 26), with the six other victims found on Monday (Jan. 27). Kobe Bryant, along with three others, have now been identified.

An official release from the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office confirmed the news on Tuesday (Jan. 28).  

“Over the span of two days, personnel from the department’s Special Operations Response Team (SORT) located and recovered the nine bodies from the extensive crash site,” the statement read.

Helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan, baseball coach John Altobelli and Sarah Chester have also been identified. According to The Blast, fingerprints were used to identify the four passengers. Five other victims, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, Payton Chester and Christina Mauser, have yet to be identified.

“Investigators are still working on identifying the five remaining decedents,” an update from the Coroner’s Office read. “The Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner will provide immediate updates on the names of the decedents as soon as they are officially verified and their next of kin have been notified.”

According to a press conference that the National Transportation Safety Board held on Tuesday (Jan. 28), the helicopter was apparently not equipped with a standard terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS), which is used to alert pilots when an aircraft becomes too low to the ground. The system could have warned pilot Zobayan about his helicopter’s proximity to the ground before its crash.

Investigators at the press conference also revealed that the chopper clipped a ridge 20 to 30 ft. from a hillside. Dense fog is also known to have plagued the Calabasas, CA area during the flight. The crash is still under investigation.

Bryant’s death shocked the world on Sunday (Jan. 26). Several have paid tribute to the late NBA legend and his daughter, including LeBron James, Shaq, Grammys performers and more.

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