The pilot flying Kobe Bryant and seven others to a youth basketball tournament outside Los Angeles did not have alcohol or drugs in his system, and all sustained immediately fatal injuries when their helicopter slammed into a hillside, according to autopsies released Friday.
The reports by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office provide a clinical but unvarnished look at just how brutal the crash was, describing broken bones, dismembered body parts and a stench of fuel on what remained of clothing that burned.
The causes of death for Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, pilot Ara Zobayan and the others were blunt trauma.
The report on Bryant revealed the only drug in his system was methylphenidate, which is sold under the brand name Ritalin and used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy.
Bryant was headed to his daughter's tournament at his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks on the morning of Jan. 26. There they flew into fog. Zobayan climbed sharply to try to get above the clouds, turned left and plunged into a hillside.
Federal authorities are still investigating the accident.
Also killed were Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, who helped Bryant coach his daughter's basketball team; and Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton. Alyssa and Payton were Gianna’s teammates.