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Brother of Pilot in Kobe Bryant's Helicopter Crash Blames Passengers for the Fatal Flight

Afouda Fortune
May 13, 2020
10:59 A.M.

The brother of the pilot who flew the helicopter that killed Kobe Bryant and eight other, Berge Zobayan, alleges that Ara wasn't at fault for the crash that killed the NBA legend.

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Berge Zobayan, who is the brother of the helicopter pilot involved in the crash that killed Kobe Bryant, has revealed that the blame lies with the passengers.

Gianna Bryant and her father, former NBA player Kobe Bryant, at the WNBA All-Star Game 2019 on July 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Photo: Getty Images

Gianna Bryant and her father, former NBA player Kobe Bryant, at the WNBA All-Star Game 2019 on July 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Photo: Getty Images

According to CNN, Berge's legal counsel has claimed that Kobe and the rest of the passengers were fully aware of the risks of flying and as such, no member of the family was entitled to damages from the pilot's estate.

[Vanessa's] lawsuit asserted that the company was only authorized to fly under visual flight rules and that the conditions the day of the crash were not the best.

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In papers obtained by ET Online, Berge, who is a representative for his late brother, Ara, in the case stated that:

"Any injuries or damages to plaintiffs and/or their decedent was directly caused in full or in part by the negligence or fault of plaintiffs and/or their decedent."

Berge's response comes a few months after TMZ revealed that Vanessa Bryant sued the company, Island Express Helicopters, that owned the helicopter that crashed, killing Kobe, their daughter, Gianna, and seven others.

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The lawsuit asserted that the company was only authorized to fly under visual flight rules and that the conditions the day of the crash were not the best.

The suit also claimed that the pilot was going 180 miles per hour in the fog in a steep decline in the moments before it crashed in Calabasas, California. NBC News recounted that the crash also killed Orange Coast College baseball coach, John Altobelli, and his wife, Keri, whose daughter played basketball with Gianna.

Christina Mauser, who assisted Kobe with coaching the girls' basketball team, was also killed in the January 26 crash.

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