Tauscher testified that the crash spread human remains over 500 yards, creating an impact zone larger than two football fields, and that a magnesium fire was burning at the time. She added that most victims required forensic examination in order to be positively identified due to the severity of their injuries. Tauscher testified that Kobe Bryant was partially recognized based on his skin tone and tattoos on his arm.
She told the court that due to the extreme and unidentifiable state of the remains after the crash, the coroner’s office did not invite the families to identify their loved ones.
She remarked, “A person’s appearance in death is very different from their appearance in life.” To witness a loved one in such a condition would leave an indelible mark on one’s mind.
According to testimony provided by Tauscher, the coroner’s office took approximately 1,250 photographs of the crash site, of which about 300 were of human remains. She added that neither LASD nor LACFD were ever asked by the coroner’s office to photograph the bodies.
As LASD Malibu Search and Rescue team leader David Katz testified previously, LASD Deputy Doug Johnson took hundreds of photos on his cell phone.
From the county defendants, Bryant is asking for exemplary damages. She claims that the LA County agency practices that led to the alleged taking and dissemination of photos constitute negligence, emotional distress, and an invasion of privacy, and that she is also bringing federal claims related to her constitutional right to the images of her deceased loved ones.
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