The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner identified the NBA star and three others on Tuesday

By Ashley Boucher
January 30, 2020 01:14 AM
Advertisement

All nine victims of the helicopter crash in Calabasas on Sunday that killed Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna have been identified by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner.

After identifying Bryant, 41, John Altobelli, 56, Sarah Chester, 46, and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50, on Tuesday through “the use of fingerprints,” the Coroner’s Office identified the five remaining passengers “following round-the-clock testing and analysis of DNA,” a press release published on Wednesday stated.

Those five included Gianna, Payton Chester, 13, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Keri Altobelli, 46, and Christina Mauser, 38.

“Furthermore, on Tuesday body examinations were performed on all nine decedents. Their causes of death were certified as blunt trauma,” the Coroner’s office Wednesday press release stated. “The manner of death was certified as accident.”

The Coroner’s office said that all legal next of kin had been notified of their deaths.

All nine aboard the helicopter had already been identified by friends and family.

Mauser’s husband Matt confirmed the tragic passing of his wife, who was a basketball coach at Kobe’s Mamba Academy.

“My kids and I are devastated,” he wrote on Facebook. “We lost our beautiful wife and mom today in a helicopter crash. Please respect our privacy. Thank you for all the well wishes they mean so much.”

In an interview with CNN‘s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday night, Matt said that Mauser’s death came just days before their youngest’s fourth birthday.

Christina Mauser
Christina Mauser
| Credit: Facebook

Mother-daughter pair Sarah and Payton made up a “dream family,” Payton’s school principal told PEOPLE.

The Chester family said in a statement: “Sarah and Payton were the lights of our family. Payton had a smile and personality that would light any room, and a passion for the game of basketball. She found joy on any court and loved all of her teammates and coaches. Sarah was full of life and the glue of our family. She was a tireless force in support of her family. The love we feel from so many today is a testament to the community she created for us.”

Payton and Sarah Chester
Payton and Sarah Chester
| Credit: Facebook

John and his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa were remembered as the “first family” of Orange Coast College, where John was head coach of the men’s baseball team.

John died just two days before the team’s season opener on Tuesday, and a moment of silence was held for the coach ahead of the game’s first pitch, and all of the players for the OCC Pirates wore John’s number, 14, on their jerseys.

john altobelli
Altobelli family
| Credit: GoFundMe

Zobayan “was as skilled and as talented as a pilot as you could get. With him, it was always safety first and above and beyond that, he was doing what he loved,” fellow pilot Adam Alexander previously told PEOPLE.

“He had a lot of respect for flying and would never take risk,” a source told PEOPLE of the Huntington Beach, California, pilot.

On Wednesday, Vanessa Bryant spoke out for the first time since the tragic crash with an emotional post on Instagram, telling fans she’s “devastated” over the loss of her “adoring” husband Bryant and their “beautiful, sweet” daughter Gianna.

Ara Zobayan
Ara Zobayan

She also announced in the post that the Mamba Sports Foundation set up a charity for the families of the seven other victims of the helicopter crash, called the MambaOnThree Fund.

The identifications of all of the victims comes one day after all of the bodies were recovered from the scene of the crash.

Kobe Bryant
Gianna and Kobe Bryant
| Credit: Allen Berezovsky/Getty

“On Sunday afternoon, personnel from the department’s Special Operations Response Team (SORT) recovered three bodies from the helicopter wreckage located in the 4200 block of Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas,” the Coroner’s office said in a release Tuesday. “The next day, the search continued for the other six helicopter occupants. Soon after, their bodies were located, removed from the crash site and transported to the department’s Forensic Science Center.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, which occurred in very foggy conditions on Sunday morning.

The NTSB said on Tuesday that the helicopter could have potentially avoided the hill it crashed on had it been flying 20 to 30 feet higher — though investigator Bill English pointed out during the press conference that there were many surrounding hills the copter would have also had to clear.