Kobe Bryant’s Body Identified by Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office

Illustration for article titled Kobe Bryant’s Body Identified by Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office
Photo: Harry How (Getty Images)

As millions of sports fans throughout Los Angeles and the rest of the world struggle to make sense of the tragic death of basketball icon Kobe Bryant, an ongoing investigation into the hows and whys of what transpired is underway.

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To that end, ABC News and Sports Illustrated report that the bodies of all nine victims have been recovered from the crash site and that the five-time NBA champion is among those who have been identified by the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office thus far.

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Per the medical examiner-coroner, fingerprints were used to confirm the identities of Bryant, 41; Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, 56; Sarah Chester, 45; and the pilot, Ara Zobayan, 50.

The coroner’s office has yet to officially identify the rest of the bodies recovered from the wreckage, though according to Sports Illustrated, friends and family have identified the remaining victims as such:

Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna; Chester’s 13-year-old daughter, Payton; Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and daughter Alyssa; and Christina Mauser, a girls’ basketball coach at a Southern California elementary school.

During a press conference on Tuesday, federal investigators admitted that it could be months until they’re able to determine the cause of the crash, though early reports point to inclement weather conditions as a contributing factor.

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Prior to departure, Zobayan requested and received permission from air traffic controllers to take flight despite the presence of a dense fog that had grounded other aircraft. In his final radio transmission before the crash, he reported that he was attempting to avoid a cloud layer.

“It was a pretty devastating accident scene,” Jennifer Homendy, a National Transportation Safety Board member, told reporters on Monday during a press conference.

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Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this tragedy.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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DISCUSSION

A lot has been said about the aircraft operating with a ‘special’ clearance (SVFR). If you listen to the ATC tape you’ll hear ATC advise 72EX (Kobe’s pilot) that the Burbank airport surface area (where the aircraft is currently operating) is IFR (under instrument flight rules/bad weather), and then he says ‘say intentions’.

What ATC is telling the pilot, is hey, you’re operating visually in an instrument environment/bad weather (which is a violation), tell me what you’re going to do or I’m going to instruct you to land the aircraft, leave my airspace or get a flight violation.

Say intentions is italicized up there because in those circumstances ATC is prohibited from offering, suggesting or even implying that there’s another alternative (SVFR). The request for SVFR must come from the pilot as a way of removing any implication that ATC convinced the pilot to do something he or she wasn’t comfortable doing.