Kobe Bryant Pilot's Rep Blames Passengers For Fatal Crash

By Peyton Blakemore

May 11, 2020

The representative of the pilot who was flying the helicopter that killed Kobe and Gianna Bryant, along with six other passengers, claims the people on board were responsible for the fatal crash, TMZ reports.

According to the outlet, a relative of the helicopter's pilot, Ara George Zobayan, who also died in the crash, recently answered Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit against Ara and the helicopter company, Island Express, saying, the fault of the crash lies on the eight passengers.

"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," the rep said.

Despite the rep's claim that the passengers were to blame for the fatal crash, they did not address how the passengers could have caused the accident. It's unclear how they could be at fault given the fact that the pilot was seemingly in control of the aircraft as the passengers say in their seats.

Back in February, Kobe's widow sued Island Express for "pre-impact" terror, claiming the aircraft involved in the crash that killed her husband and daughter, should never have been placed in the peril it was in before the January 26 accident since that the fog "was extremely low and the pilot was in blinding conditions before the mishap."

"Island Express was only allowed to fly under visual flight rules, and the conditions the day of the crash were not conducive for such flying," TMZ reported of the lawsuit at the time. Adding, the pilot was going 180 miles per hour in the heavy fog in a steep decline in the moments before it crashed in Calabasas, CA.

Vanessa's lawsuit additionally claimed that "the pilot failed to properly monitor and assess the weather prior to takeoff, failed to obtain proper weather data prior to the flight, failed to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy condition, failed to maintain control of the helicopter and failed to avoid 'natural obstacles' in the flight path."

While the lawsuit didn't list an amount of damages sought, "Vanessa is asking for punitive damages, claiming the pilot and Island Express were reckless, and the damages could be untold millions."

Photo: Getty Images

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