Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Paul Bois.
As the nation still mourns the death of Kobe Bryant, the basketball star's widow, Vanessa Bryant, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters, alleging that the tragic death of her husband, daughter, and seven others was due to the reckless behavior of pilot Ara Zobayan.
According to Variety
, Vanessa Bryant's suit alleges that helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan was "negligent and careless" for failing to meet safety standards prior to the crash in Calabasas, California.
"Defendant Island Express Helicopters' breach of its duty and negligence caused the injuries and damages complained of herein and Plaintiffs' deceased, Kobe Bryant, was killed as a direct result of the negligent conduct of Zobayan for which Defendant Island Express Helicopters is vicariously liable in all respects,"
said the suit.
Though the complaint does not specify a dollar amount, it seeks general, economic and punitive damages that could total in the millions. As noted by USA Today
, "Federal Aviation Administration records show Zobayan had been reprimanded five years ago for flying without permission into airspace while he had reduced visibility."
by The Daily Wire's James Barrett, recently-released audio revealed that the pilot was given "clearance to fly in worse than normal weather conditions, without relying on instruments to guide him."
- ESPN reported Sunday on the exchange between the helicopter's pilot, Ara Zobayan, and air traffic controllers in the Burbank tower, as revealed in a partial audio of the exchange posted by LiveATC.net. The recording indicates that "a few minutes before the crash, an air traffic controller told Zobayan that he was 'still too low level for flight following,' meaning the aircraft was below the level at which it could be picked up by radar due to the area's hilly terrain," ESPN reported.
- "Additional recordings between Zobayan and air traffic controllers posted on the site indicate that the pilot was getting guidance from controllers as he navigated what was reported to be dense morning fog," ESPN reports. "Air traffic controllers noted poor visibility around Burbank, just to the north, and Van Nuys, to the northwest."
- Air traffic controllers initially held up the helicopter for other aircraft, then cleared the chopper "to proceed north along Interstate 5 through Burbank before turning west to follow U.S. Route 101, the Ventura Freeway," the sports network notes.
On the morning prior to Bryant's death, the basketball star's priest confirmed that he attended Mass and received Holy Communion.
"I saw him yesterday (Sunday) before the 7 a.m. mass,"
Father Sallot told CBS2 News
. "We chatted for a couple of minutes, and then he moved on, and obviously, he was going to the airport yesterday morning."
"I can confirm that #KobeBryant, a devout Catholic, came to this church early Sunday morning to worship,"
reported KTLA's Wendy Burch. "He was here between 6 and 7am.... just hours before the fatal crash He came alone, as I am told he often did."
During Bryant's memorial on Monday, Vanessa Bryant told Kobe and their daughter, Gianna, to "have fun in heaven
" until they meet again.