Kobe Bryant and Other Helicopter Passengers Blamed for Fatal Crash

Though it has been months since the fatal crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven other people, new information about the accident has been coming out fairly often. When the crash first happened, everyone wondered who was at fault. Bryant’s wife Vanessa and family members of others involved in the crash initially blamed the helicopter company, Island Express, and the pilot, Ara Zobayan. Now, a relative of Ara is saying that it was the passengers’ fault.

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant | Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

What happened?

On January 26th, eight passengers and Ara were headed to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California when their helicopter crash. Those onboard included Kobe and Gianna, Gianna’s teammate, Alyssa Altobelli, and her parents Keri and John Altobelli, basketball coach Christina Mauser,  Gianna’s other teammate Payton Chester and her mother Sarah.

Lawsuits against Island Express

The Altobelli, Mauser, and Bryant families are all suing for the wrongful deaths of their loved ones.

Alexis Altobelli, the surviving child in the Altobelli family, is petitioning for survival damages, funeral and burial expenses, and “all other damages by law,” according to court documents.

In the documents, Alexis says that Island Express was “negligent and careless, in regards to owning, leasing, managing, maintaining, controlling, entrusting, chartering, and operating.”

Mauser’s husband Matt has also filed a suit claiming that the “careless, negligent, and unlawful acts and/or omissions” by Island Express resulted in his wife’s death.

Vanessa also filed a suit, saying that Ara “had a duty to use that degree of care that an ordinarily careful and prudent pilot would use under the same or similar circumstances.”

Her lawsuit against Island Express alleges that the pilot did not “properly assess the weather, flying into conditions he wasn’t cleared for and failing to control the helicopter.”

The pilot’s relative blames the passengers

In legal documents, Ara’s brother and representative, Berge Zobayan, has claimed that the passengers are actually to blame for the accident.

“Any injuries or damages to plaintiffs and/or their decedent were directly caused in full or in part by the negligence or fault of plaintiffs and/or their decedent, including their knowing and voluntary encounter with the risks involved, and that this negligence was a substantial factor in causing their purported damages, for which this answering defendant bears no responsibility,” his response states, according to HollywoodLife.

Berge has requested a jury trial.

Messages from beyond the grave

Vanessa has obviously been having a hard time coping with the loss of her husband and one of her daughters, but Kobe has found a way to talk to her, even from beyond the grave. Recently, Vanessa found an envelope from her late husband.

“Yesterday I found an envelope labeled ‘To: The Love of my Life. From, Tu Papi,'” she captioned a picture on Instagram. “I waited to open one more letter on my birthday. It gave me something to look forward to today.❤️The irony is that Kobe had a photo of me drawn with an Angel holding me up by an artist on the cover. Missing the Love of my Life and my sweet little Mamacita- my fellow Taurus. Grateful to wake up to my 3 sweet girls today. Wish we were all together. ❤️❤️ “