LA County Coroner Gives Jury Graphic Testimony of Kobe Bryant Crash Site

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Lakers fans stand in line to celebrate in front of a mural of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant on October 11, 2020, in Los Angeles, California.
Lakers fans stand in line to celebrate in front of a mural of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant on October 11, 2020, in Los Angeles, California.

Warning: This story contains descriptions that some readers may find disturbing.

Vanessa Bryant’s invasion of privacy trial has begun with opening arguments on Thursday. Her lawsuit alleges that the Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire departments shared cell phone photos of the crash site where former Lakers legend and husband Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven others passed away in a helicopter accident. Head of investigations at the LA County Coroner’s office, Captain Emily Tauscher described the graphic details of the site to the jury, Business Insider reports.

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Tauscher informed the jury of the proper photo practices of the coroner’s office, detailed accounts of how gruesome the crash site was, and the conditions of each victim’s body. This was to let the jury know what the pictures looked like. About 1,250 photos of the crash site were taken, 300 featuring human remains. Tauscher also stated the coroner’s office never requested that either LASD or Los Angeles County Fire Department to take pictures of the remains.

From Business Insider:

Tauscher, a key witness for Bryant and Chester, delivered exceptionally detailed and graphic testimony about the post-crash condition of each victim’s body, providing jurors with a mental image of the photos allegedly captured by the defendants. Both Bryant and Chester left the courtroom ahead of her testimony.

Tauscher testified that human remains from the crash were scattered over 500 yards, creating an impact zone that was larger than two football fields while a magnesium fire from the crash was aflame. The majority of the victims had to be scientifically identified because their wounds were so extreme, she said. Kobe Bryant was partially identified by his skin tone and tattoos on his arm, Tauscher testified.

During Tauscher’s testimony, she stated families were not invited to identify the remains because of the “unidentifiable nature of their condition.” Tauscher added that most of the victims had to be scientifically identified because of their “extreme” wounds.