Stephen M. Silverman
August 27, 1998 12:00 AM

The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed reports that John F. Kennedy Jr. suffered “spatial disorientation,” which caused the fatal accident that killed Kennedy, 38, his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, 33, and his sister-in-law Lauren Bessette, 34, last July 16. NTSB investigators say no evidence of mechanical problems on the plane were found and that the crash was likely the result of “the pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane during a descent over water at night.” Also on Thursday, the family of the Bessette sisters said that no public service was planned to mark the first anniversary of the tragedy. In a three-paragraph statement released through their attorney, family members have requested privacy as they continue to struggle with the loss. “They are gone from this earth but not from our hearts,” said the statement.

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