Pilot in fatal Kobe crash had no alcohol or drugs in system


The pilot of the helicopter that crashed with Kobe Bryant and seven others aboard didn’t have alcohol or drugs in his system, according to multiple media reports on Friday.

The autopsy on 50-year-old deceased pilot Ara Zobayan came back clean.

“Toxicological testing did not detect the presence of alcohol or drugs of abuse. Substances tested for include: benzodiazepines, cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, marijuana, opioids, phencyclidine, and amphetamines,” the report stated, according to TMZ.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office released the autopsies of all nine victims who died in the Jan. 26 crash in Calabasas, Calif. The cause of death is listed as blunt force trauma for all nine, and the manner of death is listed as accidental for each victim.

The morning crash into a hillside occurred in heavy fog and cloud cover with the helicopter traveling 184 mph. An investigation showed the helicopter plunged several hundred feet before impact.

The report indicated dismembered body parts were part of the wreckage scene. Bryant had injuries to nearly his entire body.

“These injuries are rapidly if not instantly fatal,” a medical examiner wrote of Bryant.

Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, previously filed a wrongful suit against Island Express Helicopters, which operated Zobayan’s helicopter. Her 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, also died in the crash.

Kobe Bryant’s autopsy revealed the 41-year-old had Ritalin in his system. The drug typically treats attention deficit hyperactivity and narcolepsy.

Also dying in the crash were two youth basketball teammates of Gianna Bryant: 14-year-old Alyssa Altobelli and 13-year-old Payton Chester.

Others who perished were Alyssa Altobelli’s parents — Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli (age 56) and his wife Keri Altobelli (46) — and Payton Chester’s mother, Sarah Chester (45). Assistant basketball coach Christina Mauser (38) also perished.

Christopher Chester, whose wife and daughter died, filed suit against the helicopter company and Zobayan’s estate earlier this week.

Bryant won five NBA championships for the Los Angeles during 20 NBA seasons. He was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2007-08, a 15-time All-NBA selection, an 18-time All-Star and 12-time All-Defensive team selection. He twice was named MVP of the NBA Finals and was the All-Star Game MVP four times.

—Field Level Media