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Witness to Kobe Bryant helicopter crash says victims likely ‘didn’t suffer’


A witness to Kobe Bryant’s deadly chopper crash believes the nine victims aboard likely “didn’t suffer” because the chopper was destroyed instantaneously.

Scott Daehlin told Extra that he was immediately alarmed when he first heard the Sikorsky S-76B hovering directly above him in Calabasas, California, at 9:43 a.m. Sunday.

“My alarm bells went off because I thought, ‘This is awfully low,'” the sound engineer said, estimating it was “100, 150 feet” above him, yet invisible in the dense fog and low clouds.

The chopper finally flew off — and just “20 seconds later” he “heard the impact,” describing it as a sudden “thump” as it crashed into a fog-covered hill.


“It was not very loud. You could hear the crushing, collapsing of fiberglass, Plexiglas,” he said, adding the “rotors stopped literally immediately” without an explosion.

“It just all stopped,” he said. “So however the impact happened, it ended very, very quickly.

“I hope that the occupants didn’t suffer because it was very, very quick.”

Daehlin was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher within 45 seconds of the crash, he said, with emergency crews arriving from several directions within minutes.

I think he was just disoriented and did not know where he was,” he said of pilot Ara Zobayan, who had been warned by air traffic control that he was flying too low to be visible on radar.

“I just think he was disoriented. I didn’t hear any malfunctions,” Daehlin told Extra.

Bryant was killed alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and Zobayan.

Also killed were girls’ basketball coach Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and her 13-year-old daughter, Payton, as well as college baseball coach John Altobelli, his daughter Alyssa Altobelli and wife, Keri Altobelli.

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