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A List Of Notable Celebrities Who Were Killed In Accidents

Updated on: 1/28/2020

Below is a list of some of the more famous celebrities - actors & actresses, artists, musicians, comedians, and so on - who have fallen victim to fatal accidents in recent years:

  1. Grace Kelly, Actress

Died when her car went off the side of a winding road near her country home. Investigators determined that Princess Grace suffered a stroke that caused her to lose control of her car.
  1. Bob Simon, CBS Correspondent
Died after the driver of the for-hire Lincoln Town Car he was rising in lost control and hit another vehicle.
  1. Paul Walker, Actor
Died when the Porsche Carrera he was riding in crashed into a light pole and caught on fire.
  1. James Dean, Actor
Died when his high-powered racing car crashed into another car that cut in front of him. Fans have since debated whether Dean or his mechanic was driving at the time of the crash.
  1. Ryan Dunn, Comedian and Stunt Performer
Died when the car he was driving went off the road at a high rate of speed. His passenger, Zachary Hartwell, also died in the collision.
  1. Jane Mansfield, Actress
Died when the car she was riding in rear-ended a semi-truck because the driver was unable to see through a fog of mosquito spray. Her death led to the adoption of DOT bars, a guard on the back of semi-trucks.
  1. Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes, Rapper
Died in a rollover accident when the SUV she was driving tipped over.
  1. Harry Chapin, Folk-Rock Performer and Composer
Died when the car he was driving was hit from behind by a semi-truck, crushing the rear of the vehicle and causing it to burst into flames.
  1. Jack Johnson, Boxer
Died in an automobile accident after driving away from a restaurant that refused to serve him because of his race.
  1. Sylvester (Junkyard Dog) Ritter, Wrestler
Crashed his car and died while returning home from his daughter’s high school graduation. Investigators believe he may have fallen asleep at the wheel.
  1. Keith (Adrian Adonis) Franke, Wrestler
Died when the minivan he was riding in swerved to avoid a moose and plunged into a lake. Wrestlers
  1. Anton Yelchin, Actor
Found dead by friends after being pinned against a brick pillar by his own car. Safety experts faulted the design of the car, which was known to have a confusing gear shift and was the subject of a recall.
  1. Nick Adenhart, Baseball Player
Killed by a driver who fled the scene of the accident.
  1. Herb Brooks, Ice Hockey Player and Coach
This famous coach died when his minivan swerved, crashed into the median strip, and rolled over. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle.
  1. Sam Kinison, Comedian and Actor
Died when his car was struck head-on by a drunk teenager.
  1. Dale Earnhardt, Race Car Driver
Killed in a crash at the 2001 Daytona 500. His death led to changes in the way race car drivers protect their faces and necks.
  1. David Halberstam, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist
Died in a three-car crash while on his way to an interview with a source.
  1. Diana, Princess of Wales, British Royalty
Killed in a crash when the vehicle she was riding in slammed into a pylon in a tunnel. Her driver was drunk at the time of the crash; the vehicle was also being pursued by paparazzi, who were seeking payouts from photographs of the troubled princess.
  1. Drazen Petrovic, Basketball Player
This NBA star, once called “the Mozart of Basketball,” died when he slammed his car into a crashed truck. The crash happened on the German autobahn, which does not have speed limits on some stretches.
  1. Randy Savage, Wrestler
“Macho Man” Savage died when he lost control of his Jeep Rangler, which crossed into a concrete median divider and crashed into a tree.
  1. Ian Bannen, Actor
Bannen, a veteran British stage and film actor, was found dead in his overturned car near Loch Ness.
  1. Rob Bironas, Football Player
This former football player for the Tennessee Titans had a blood alcohol level of 0.218% when he lost control of his car. The vehicle crashed into several trees before landing upside-down in a drainage ditch.
  1. Larry Blyden, Actor
This popular Broadway and TV actor died in a car accident while he was travelling in Morocco.
  1. Roland Barthes, Philosopher
This influential French literary critic and philosopher was hit by a laundry van in Paris. He died from his injuries a few weeks after the crash.
  1. Stiv Bators, Musician
The lead singer of rock bands Dead Boys and Lords of the New Church was hit by a car, went home, and died in his sleep.
  1. Steve Allen, Actor and Songwriter
An apparently minor car accident caused a ruptured blood vessel in the sac surrounding Allen’s heart. This comedian and television pioneer died at his son’s home while he was taking a nap after the accident.
  1. Duane Allman, Guitarist
The leader of the Allman Brothers Band died when he lost control of his motorcycle and veered into the side of a flatbed truck.
  1. Jackson Pollock, Impressionist Painter
This revolutionary painter died when he sped around a curve and lost control of his vehicle. One of the passengers in his car survived and investigators that Pollock had been angry about a party and had accelerated deliberately.
  1. Jeff Batters, Ice Hockey Player
This member of the Kansas City Blades died in an automobile accident near Banff, Alberta.
  1. Chris Bell, Musician
This former rock musician died in a car accident while he was returning home from a rehearsal.
  1. Brad Beckman, Football Player
This Atlanta Falcons tight end died when the car he was riding in skidded on an icy road and was struck broadside by a truck.
  1. Lamont Bentley, Actor
This promising star, most famous for his work on the sitcom “Moesha,” died after the car he was driving ran through a stop sign, crashed through a chain link fence, and rolled down an embankment into freeway traffic. He was struck by several vehicles before emergency responders could reach him.
  1. Falco, Musician
Austrian superstar Falco was killed when his rental car was struck by a bus in the Dominican Republic.
  1. George S. Patton, United States Army General
An instrumental leader in World War II, Patton broke his neck in a car accident in Germany.
  1. Claudia Jennings, Model and Actress
This Brady Bunch actress was driving her car when she was hit by a can.
  1. Pete Conrad, Astronaut
The third man to walk on the moon died on Earth after he lost control of his Harley-Davidson and was flung from the motorcycle.
  1. Eric Andolsek, Football Player
This NFL lineman died when a flatbed truck ran off the road and struck him while he was weeding his lawn. Despite the truck driver’s erratic driving and evidence of cocaine found in his system, he got off only 14 days in jail and a $175 fine.
  1. Billy Martin, New York Yankee Manager
This famously combative manager died while riding in a pickup truck with his friend. The truck skidded on an icy road and plunged down an embankment; the driver was found to be intoxicated.
  1. Jack Anglin, Country Music Singer
Anglin died in a single-car accident only days after a plane crash killed three of his colleagues in country music.
  1. Brandon Burlsworth, Football Player
This promising lineman had been drafted by the Colts only 11 days before his fatal head-on crash with a tractor-trailer.
  1. Norman Burton, Actor
A film and television actor, Burton died in a car accident while he was on his way home.
  1. Basil al-Assad, Heir to the President of Syria
Al-Assad was driving at high speed on a foggy highway when he missed his turnoff and slammed into a barrier.
  1. Astrid of Sweden, Queen of the Belgians
Consort to King Leopold III during a tumultuous period of Belgian history, Astrid died in a car accident in Switzerland.
  1. D. Boon, Musician
Minutemen guitarist D. Boone was killed when the van he was riding in swerved off the road.
  1. Clifford Brown, Musician
American jazz trumpeter “Brownie” died in a late-night car accident, leaving behind only a few years’ worth of recordings.
  1. Jerome Brown, Football Player
Brown, the star defensive tackle of the Philadelphia Eagles, died in a car accident that also killed his 13-year-old nephew.
  1. Cliff Burton, Musician
Metallica’s bassist died in a bus accident while the band was touring in Sweden. The bus’s driver lost control when he hit a patch of black ice. The other members of the band survived, but Burton was thrown through a window and crushed by the bus when it tipped onto its side.
  1. Dugald Christie, Lawyer and Activist
Known as “the Mother Teresa of the bar,” this prominent activist died when his bicycle was struck by a minivan. He was cycling across Canada to raise awareness about ordinary citizens’ lack of access to the judicial system.
  1. Prince Christopher of Yugoslavia, Yugoslavian Royalty
This prince, who lived and worked in obscurity as a high school science teacher, was killed when his bicycle collided with a car.
  1. Bob Clark, Film Director
The director of “Porky’s” and “A Christmas Story” was killed by an intoxicated driver with no license. His 22-year-old son Ariel also died in the crash.
  1. Spencer Clark, NASCAR Driver
This 19-year-old driver died in a single-vehicle crash when his truck and trailer were hit by a gust of wind in the mountains.
  1. Eddie Cochran, Musician
Cochran was riding to the airport after a show in Bristol, England when his taxi crashed.
  1. Alexis Cohen, Actress and Singer
This singer, best known for her rebellious performance on American Idol, was pronounced death after she was found on the side of the road with extensive injuries. Her death was listed as vehicular homicide.
  1. Brian Cole, Baseball Player
Cole was killed in a rollover accident while he was leaving spring training. His family won a $131 million judgement against the Ford Motor Co., which included punitive damages due to the Ford Explorer’s tendency to roll and safety belt failure.
  1. Billy Collins, Jr., Boxer
A promising boxer whose career was cut short by injuries from a cheating opponent, Collins drove his car off a cliff near his home in Tennessee.
  1. Rob Collins, Musician
The keyboardist of the Charlatans had a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit when he lost control of his vehicle and was thrown through the sunroof.
  1. Amie Comeaux, Musician
This country music singer died in a car crash at the age of 21.
  1. Jack Dakin, Musician
The drummer of up-and-coming rock band Viola Beach died when the car the band was travelling in plunged off a bridge.
  1. Betty Jack Davis, Musician
This country music singer, one half of The Davis Sisters, died instantly in an automobile accident. Skeeter Davis, who was also in the vehicle, was injured but recovered.
  1. Mike Darr, Baseball Player
Darr and a friend in the same vehicle died in a single-car crash. Authorities believed that alcohol was a factor in the wreck.
  1. Marshall Dodge, Humorist
This Maine humorist died when the bike he was riding was struck by a vehicle.
  1. Isadora Duncan, Dancer
Duncan is remembered to this day in part for her unusual death: the long silk scarf she was wearing got tangled in the hubcaps of her open car, strangling her.
  1. Donald Eccles, Actor
This British character actor died in a road accident in Brighton.
  1. Mike Edwards, Musician
This member of the Electric Light Orchestra was killed when a hay bale rolled out of a field and smashed into the roof of his vehicle.
  1. Edem Ephraim, Musician
This member of dance pop duo The London Boys died after being hit by a drunk driver while travelling with his colleague Dennis Fuller.
  1. Bill George, Football Player
This football Hall of Famer was killed when a tractor-trailer struck his van.
  1. David Griggs, Football Player
This NFL football linebacker died of head injuries after he lost control of his car while speeding.
  1. Nicolas Grunitzky, Former President of Togo
This exiled ex-President died in a Paris hospital due to complications from a car accident.
  1. Paul Hackman, Musician
The guitarist of rock band Helix died when the group’s van rolled down a 40-foot embankment.
  1. Dennis Fuller, Musician
This member of dance pop duo The London Boys died after being hit by a drunk driver while travelling with his colleague Edem Ephraim.
  1. Josh Hancock, Baseball Player
According to police, Hancock was drunk and had marijuana in his car at the time of his fatal accident. He was also talking on his cell phone before the crash.
  1. Michael Hedges, Musician
This guitarist and singer-songwriter was found dead after his car plunged down an embankment.
  1. Johnny Horton, Musician
This country music and rockabilly singer died when a drunk driver smashed into his car head-on.
  1. Tim Horton, Ice Hockey Player
This famous hockey player and founder of the Canadian Tim Hortons franchise was under the influence of alcohol and speeding when he lost control of his sports car.
  1. Kemistry, DJ
This female DJ was influential in the drum and bass scene of the mid-90s. She died in a motor vehicle accident.
  1. Terrence Kiel, Football Player
This former Chargers player was thrown from his car after hitting a wall.
  1. Ken Kifer, Writer
An enthusiastic cyclist who often wrote about his experiences while bicycle touring, Kifer died when his bicycle was struck by a drunk driver who had been released from jail on a different DUI charge only 4 hours before the accident.
  1. Ernie Kovacs, Actor and Comedian
Kovacs lost control of his car and crashed; some fans believed that he had become distracted while striking a match against his shoe sole in order to light a cigar.
  1. Philip Taylor Kramer, Musician
The former bass guitar player for the rock group Iron Butterfly was missing for four years before his remains were found in a van at the bottom of a ravine. Calls made before his disappearance suggested that Kramer may have committed suicide.
  1. Kris Leonard, Musician
The vocalist of up-and-coming rock band Viola Beach died when the car the band was travelling in plunged off a bridge.
  1. Charles Lewis, Jr., Businessman, Promoter and Entertainer
Lewis was killed by a drunk driver during a road race. The force of the crash sheared Lewis’s car in half.
  1. Audrey Lindvall, Model
This New York-based model died when she fell off her bike at a gas station and was run over by a gas tanker.
  1. Jaclyn Linetsky, Actress
This teenaged actress died when the car she was riding in veered off the highway and into the path of an oncoming semi-truck.
  1. Desmond Llewelyn, actor
A Welsh actor who played Q in multiple James Bond movies, Llewelyn died in a head-on crash while returning from a book signing.
  1. Tomas Lowe, Musician
The bassist of up-and-coming rock band Viola Beach died when the car the band was travelling in plunged off a bridge.
  1. Mitch Lucker, Musician
The frontman of the metal band Suicide Silence died after he lost control of his motorcycle and slammed into a light pole.
  1. Theo Marcuse, Actor
This character actor died at the age of 47 in a traffic accident in Los Angeles.
  1. Michelle Monkhouse, Model
This 19-year-old model died when she hit black ice and was thrown into the path of oncoming traffic.
  1. Andy McVann, Musician
This drummer of the British band The Farm died in a police car chase.
  1. Margaret Mitchell, Writer
The author of Gone with the Wind died in the hospital after being struck by a speeding automobile. The driver who killed her was charged with drunken driving, speeding, and driving on the wrong side of the street.
  1. Tom Mix, Actor
This silent film star drove off the road into a gully. He died of a broken neck a heavy suitcase slammed into the back of his head.
  1. Rob Moroso, Race Car Driver
This NASCAR Winston Cup driver died while he was drunk and speeding. The crash also killed a young mother in a different car.
  1. Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho, Monarch
The ruler of a tiny, mountainous land encircled by South Africa died when his car plunged off a cliff.
  1. John Nash, Mathematician
The man whose life story inspire the film “A Beautiful Mind” died when the driver of the taxi he was riding in lost control and smashed into a guard rail after trying to pass another car.
  1. Ralph Norwood, Football Player
This offensive tackle died in a one-car accident when his car crossed into the oncoming lane and struck a tree beyond the shoulder of the road.
  1. Mel Ott, Baseball Player
“Master Melvin,” as he was called by fans, died in the hospital after a two-vehicle crash on a foggy road.
  1. Fran Papasedero, Football Player and Coach
Papasedero’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when he lolst control of his car and crashed in a one-vehicle wreck.
  1. Michelle Parma, Cheerleader and Reality Show Participant
This former “Road Rules” cast member died when her car was hit by a vehicle being driven by a teenager who lost control and crossed the median.
  1. David Penhaligon, Politician
This British MP was known as “the voice of Cornwall” before his death in an accident. His car collided with a van that had skidded into his path on an icy road.
  1. Bobby Phills, Basketball Player
Investigators believed that Phills was drag racing with a teammate when he lost control of his car and veered into oncoming traffic.
  1. Cozy Powell, Musician
This rock drummer was on the phone with his girlfriend while driving at 104 miles per hour before his fatal crash.
  1. Richie Powell, Musician
This jazz pianist was famous with his work in the bebop style. He died when his wife, who was driving the car he was riding in, lost control of the vehicle. It rolled down an embankment, killing Powell and the two other people in the car instantly.
  1. Steve Prefontaine, Athlete
A track icon in the 1970s, Prefontaine lost control of his vehicle and was crushed by the weight of the car after it flipped over on a winding road.
  1. Audie Pitre, Musician
Pitre was in a car with his parents when they were slammed into by a drunk driver.
  1. Eric Qin, Composer
This experimental music composer was killed in a bicycle accident. A CD of his music was released posthumously.
  1. Dottie Rambo, Musician
This gospel singer and songwriter died when stormy conditions caused the bus she was riding in to crash through a guard rail and plummet down an embankment.
  1. Razzle, Musician
The drummer of Finnish glam rock band Hanoi Rocks was a passenger in a car driven by Motley Crue’s Vince Niel when Niel lost control of his vehicle and crashed into another car. Niel survived and was released early from his 30-day jail sentence.
  1. River Reeves, Musician
The bassist of up-and-coming rock band Viola Beach died when the car the band was travelling in plunged off a bridge.
  1. Don Rich, Musician
This country music singer, a member of Buck Owens' Buckaroos, died on his way to the hospital after a crash that threw him from his motorcycle.
  1. John D. Rockefeller III, Philanthropist
A 16-year-old driver crashed head-on into a car driven by Rockefeller’s secretary. He was one of several members of the famous Rockefeller clan to die tragically.
  1. Kenny Robinson, Baseball Player
This Major League pitcher died in a car accident during spring training.
  1. Joe Rollino, Strongman
This World War II veteran was famous for his feats of strength. While he was out on a walk at the age of 104, he was struck by a minivan.
  1. Jerry Rubin, Social Activist
This counterculture icon died at the hospital after being hit by a car while crossing the street.
  1. Darrell Russell, Football Player
This defensive lineman was a passenger in his friend and teammate’s car while it veered out of control and hit a parked bus.
  1. Jessica Savitch, Journalist
A pioneer of women in broadcasting, this TV anchor died when the car she was riding in plunged into a canal.
  1. Henry Schultz, Economist
Schultz, one of the founders of econometrics, died in a car accident that also took the lives of his wife and his two daughters.
  1. Malik Sealy, Basketball Player
This former first-round NBA pick was killed by a drunk driver.
  1. Mike Sharperson, Baseball Player
This former All-Star infielder died in a one-car crash when he lost control of his vehicle in the rain.
  1. Alexis Gewertz Shepard, Musician
This influential folk singer and songwriter was riding her bicycle when she was struck and killed by a truck.
  1. Karen Silkwood, Activist
This labor activist’s body was found in her wrecked vehicle. While police told reporters she had fallen asleep at the wheel, those close to her believed that she had been silenced after speaking up about safety issues at a nuclear plant.
  1. Wayne Simmons, Football Player
This former member of the Green Bay Packers died in a single-car wreck when his vehicle veered off the road, rolled, and landed in a ditch. He had been driving erratically before the crash.
  1. Bessie Smith, Musician
Nicknamed the Empress of the Blues, Smith died when the vehicle she was driving hit a parked truck.
  1. Wallace Stegner, Writer
This Pulitzer Prize-winning author died of respiratory failure after a traffic accident.
  1. Billy Stewart, Musician
The singer of "Summertime" died when his car left the road and plunged into a river. His estate sued Ford Motor Company, claiming that mechanical problems were to blame for the crash.
  1. James Lynn Strait, Musician
The vocalist of the band Snot died when his vehicle was hit broadside by a pickup truck on a dangerous stretch of highway.
  1. Judy Tyler, Actress
This leading lady who starred opposite Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock died when the car she was riding in swerved to avoid another vehicle and was hit by oncoming traffic.
  1. Dottie West, country singer
A friend of many popular singers and a successful duettist, West suffered a ruptured spleen after the car she was riding in crashed.
  1. Nathanael West, Writer
This satirist died when he got distracted and drove into another car, fracturing his skull.
  1. Clarence White, Musician
The guitarist of the Byrds was struck and killed by a drunk driver while he was loading equipment into his car after a gig.
  1. N.C. Wyeth, Artist and Illustrator
This influential artist died when a freight train slammed into his station wagon, killing Wyeth and his young grandson. After his death, rumors circulated that he had intended to commit suicide by stopping on the train tracks.
  1. B.J. Young, Ice Hockey Player
Young died in a single-car accident at the age of 28.
  1. Buddy Young, Football Player
The first African-American executive hired by the NFL died in a car accident at the age of 56.
  1. Kobe Bryant, Professional Basketball Player
One of the most prolific basketball players in history, Bryant was tragically killed in a helicopter accident at the age of 41.
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