Kobe Bryant: Cause of Death, Details of Fatal Crash Revealed

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It's been four days since basketball legend Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna and seven other victims.

In the hours that followed the tragic accident, there was widespread confusion regarding how many passengers were aboard and how many lost their lives.

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At one point, ABC News reported that all of Kobe's children were with him when the chopper went down.

The outlet has since apologized for spreading inaccurate information.

Though the tragedy occurred on Sunday, it was not until Thursday that authorities confirmed the wreckage had been cleared and all victims had been identified.

On Monday, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed the deaths of Kobe Bryant, 41; John Altobelli, 56; Sarah Chester, 45; and pilot, 50-year-old Ara Zobayan.

Kobe Bryant and Daughter

Today four more victims were confirmed dead -- Payton Chester, 13; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Keri Altobelli, 46; and Christina Mauser, 38.

Medical examiners also verified that all nine victims died from blunt trauma and appear to have perished on impact.

The group was en route to a basketball game at Kobe's Mamba Sports Academy when the chopper crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California.

The aircraft reportedly circled for 15 minutes in search of a safe place to land before the crash.

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A dense fog grounded other helicopters that day, including those of the Los Angeles Police Department, whose pilots were instructed not to fly due to low visibility.

The pilot was flying much lower that unsual to avoid the fog, and he reportedly attempted to clear the top of the mountain.

Sadly, he was unable to do so.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesperson Jennifer Homendy says the chopper missed the top of the hill by just 20 or 30 feet and made a rapid descent once it sustained damage.

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"The descent rate for the helicopter was over 2,000 feet a minute," Homendy tells CNN.

"This is a pretty steep descent at high speed."

Of course, the details of the crash are of little importance to the millions who are mourning the loss of Kobe and Gianna.

On Wednesday, Kobe's wife, Vanessa Bryant, issued her first public statement since the crash:

Kobe, Gianna

“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time,” the 37-year-old wrote online/

"We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe -- the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna -- a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.”

Our thoughts go out to Vanessa and her loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.

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Kobe Bryant Biography

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