1. Laura Bush
Laura Bush was a 17-year-old high school student in Midland, Texas when she ran a stop sign on a dark country road. She slammed into a car driven by Mike Douglas, a friend of hers and a popular athlete. She revealed in her memoir that she had been distracted by a conversation with her friend and failed to notice the unusually small stop sign. Her large, heavy Chevy Impala slammed into Douglas’s small Corvair Monza. He died in the crash. Laura and the friend who was riding with her survived.
The star of cult classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was driving a rental BMW in Ireland with actress Jennifer Grey in the passenger seat. He was in the wrong lane when he collided head-on with a Volvo. Anna Gallagher, the 28-year-old driver of the Volvo, and her mother Margaret Doherty, 63, were pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital. Broderick was injured in the crash, but he and Grey both survived. Investigators believed that Broderick had become confused on an unfamiliar road; in Ireland, drivers stay to the left, but Broderick was driving in the right lane in keeping with American driving customs.
3. Keith Moon
The drummer from The Who accidentally ran over and killed Neil Boland, his chauffer and bodyguard. Moon was attending the opening of a pub in Hatfield, Hertfordshire when he was attacked by a group of skinheads. The skinheads surrounded his car when he tried to leave, rocking it and throwing coins. Boland left the car to confront the skinheads; Moon, who was drunk at the time and not used to driving, tried to drive away. Boland ended up being dragged beneath the car and died that night. While Moon plead guilty to charges, it was ruled that Boland’s death was an accident.
4. Ted Kennedy
Once a political darling, Kennedy’s reputation was tarnished after the infamous Chappaquiddick incident in which 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne drowned. Kennedy was driving after a day of heavy drinking when his Oldsmobile sedan plunged off a wooden bridge into seven feet of water. Kennedy escaped the car, but Kopechne drowned. While Kennedy continued his career in the senate and denied any immoral conduct or drunkenness, his reputation suffered and his dreams of running for president were dashed.
R&B star Brandy was driving at 65 miles per hour when she failed to noticed that the cars in front of her had slowed down. Her Land Rover plowed into another vehicle, causing a chain reaction crash that killed Awatef Aboudihaj, a 38-year-old Los Angeles resident, and injured another driver. Brandy was not arrested and did not face criminal charges for her role in the accident.
This television and film actress veered around a line of stopped cars and struck a nine-year-old boy who was crossing the street. Jorge Cruz Jr. died at the hospital, devastating his family. Although Gayheart offered the family money for funeral expenses, she also faced a wrongful death lawsuit for causing the young boy’s death.
Hughes was a movie product but not yet a billionaire when he struck and killed Gabriel Meyer, a pedestrian who reportedly stepped out in front of his car. Hughes was charged with negligent homicide, but the charges were dropped when a witness’s story changed.
8. Vince Neil
The lead singer of Mötley Crüe was driving in Redondo Beach, California when he lost control of his car and careened into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Nicholas Dingley, also known as Razzle, died in the collision. Two other passengers in the car sustained serious injuries. Neil was found to have a blood-alcohol level that was more than twice the legal limit, and was charged with vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving. He was sentences to 30 days in jail, but served only 15; he also paid the victims of the crash $2.6 million in restitution.
Prison Break actor Lane Garrison crashed into a tree while driving late at night. Vahagn Setian, a 17-year-old passenger in his vehicle, died in the crash. Two other passengers, both 15 years old, were injured. He was drunk at the time of the accident, and had reportedly supplied alcohol to underage partiers. Garrison was sentenced to 40 months in state prison for vehicular manslaughter and ordered to pay almost $300,000 in restitution to his injured victims.
10. J.R. Smith
Denver Nuggets guard J.R. Smith drove his SUV through a stop sign and collided with another car. The driver of the other car was injured, but recovered. A passenger in Smith’s SUV, 21-year-old Andre Bell, died in the collision. Smith had a history of risky driving, with 28 points on his license, and between the accident and sentencing he received two more speeding tickets. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 500 hours of community service. He also faced a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Bell’s family.
11. Ryan Dunn
As one of the stars of the hit TV show Jackass, Dunn was known for performing risky stunts. He wasn’t on camera when he crashed his Porsche while driving at over 130 miles per hour. The car went off the road, through a stand of trees, and burst into flames. Dunn and his passenger, Zarchary Hartwell, both died in the crash. Investigators found that Dunn had been drinking before the crash.
12. Salman Khan
According to initial reports, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was behind the wheel when his car careened into a bakery, killing a homeless man who was sleeping there. The car then sped off. Khan’s former bodyguard, Ravindra Patil, testified that Khan had been behind the wheel; however, after he died in 2007, Khan’s conviction was overturned by a Bombay high court.
13. Caitlyn Jenner
This Kardashian matriarch and Olympic champion rear-ended a car with her SUV, sending it into oncoming traffic, where it was struck by a Hummer. The driver of that car died, and seven other people were injured in the wreck. Jenner faced several lawsuits for her role in the wreck, and ended up settling for undisclosed amounts of money. She also faced criminal charges for manslaughter, but the Los Angeles County District Attorney elected not to pursue a criminal case.
14. Amy Locane
This Melrose Place actress was driving drunk, with a blood alcohol content of more than three times the legal limit, when she slammed her SUV into another car. 60-year-old Helene Seeman was killed in the crash, and her husband Fred was seriously injured. While Locane was sentenced to three years in prison, Seeman’s family was unhappy with the leniency of the verdict. The judge who handed down the verdict lowered the maximum sentence, citing hardship on Locane’s young children.
15. Donte Stallworth
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth was driving drunk when he ran over and killed pedestrian Mario Reyes. Stallworth was sentenced to 30 days in jail; he also reached an undisclosed financial settlement with the Reyes family and donated $2,500 to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. His driver’s license was revoked for life.
NASCAR driver Tony Stewart struck and killed another driver who was walking on the track. 20 year-old Kevin Ward, Jr. had exited his car and was reportedly walking towards Stewart at the time. Ward’s family told reporters that they believed Stewart lost his temper; criminal charges were not filed against him. The Ward family filed a wrongful death suit.
17. John Huston
Huston struck and killed a female pedestrian. While Huston was known to be a drinker who had wrecked cars before, he never saw the inside of the courtroom due to the intervention of his famous father. Huston moved to New York, and later London, and then returned to Hollywood. It was there that he began his rise to fame, first as a screen writer and then as a direction of classic films including The Maltese Falcon and The African Queen.
18. Craig MacTavish
Former Boston Bruins center and general manager of the Edmonton Oilers Craig MacTavish was driving drunk when he slammed his car into another vehicle driven by 26-year-old Kim Radley. Radley sustained head injuries and died four days after the accident. MacTavish plead guilty to vehicular homicide and served one year in jail with no opportunity for parole. During his stay in jail, he worked as a cook, attended alcohol counseling sessions, and spoke with high school students about the dangers of drunk driving.