Singer/actress Aaliyah died of severe burns and a blow to the head after her plane crashed in the Bahamas in 2001, a pathologist testified yesterday (Nov. 17) at the opening of a coroner's inquest in

Singer/actress Aaliyah died of severe burns and a blow to the head after her plane crashed in the Bahamas in 2001, a pathologist testified yesterday (Nov. 17) at the opening of a coroner's inquest in Nassau. Dr. Giovander Raju, who performed autopsies on Aaliyah and some of the eight others killed in the Aug. 25, 2001, plane crash, also said the 22-year-old singer "suffered generally from a weak heart."

"Aaliyah went into such a state of shock, even if she had survived the crash, recovery would have been near impossible," Raju said during the inquest, which was held on Abaco Island, where the crash occurred. The inquest is to examine the crash and the deaths to rule on causes.

The twin-engine Cessna 402B carrying Aaliyah and the others crashed shortly after takeoff from Marsh Harbor in the Bahamas en route to Florida.

Aaliyah's parents filed court papers in September saying they had reached an undisclosed settlement in a negligence lawsuit against the plane's operator Blackhawk International Airways Corp., owners Skystream Inc. and Gilbert Chacon and flight broker Atlantic Flight Group. Investigators have said they believe the plane was 700 pounds overloaded.

At the time of her death, the singer had just finished filming a video for the single "Rock the Boat."


AP LogoCopyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.