Celebrity Automobile Accidents
Famous people who have died in car crashes
This page features celebrities (actors, sports heroes, musicians,
etc. who died in automobile crashes or were involved in serious road traffic incidents. This
page acts as a tribute to these people — all of whom died too young. Note: This is a work in progress.
If you know of any other celebrities who have died in automobile crashes, send email with details to
John Kremer. Thanks for your continued support.
More car accident fatalities occur on July 4th than on any other day of the year. More than 40% of the average 161 fatalities
that occur on July 4th involve alcohol. On average, 117 people die every day on US roads.
“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully
in his sleep—not screaming like all the passengers in his car.” — author unknown
January 2, 2000: Jan Barbara Michelle
Vusich (28), director of development at Sanford/Pillsbury Productions, died of injuries sustained in
an automobile accident on the Pacific Coast Highway in California.
January 2, 2002: Buddy, the chocolate
Labrador retriever owned by the Clintons, was run over by a car near the former president's home in Chappaqua, New York. The dog died.
January 4, 1960: French existential novelist and dramatist Albert Camus (46) was killed in an automobile accident near Sens, France.
January 7, 1982: Auto racer Bert Oosterhuis died in a race crash.
January 7, 2000: Edward T. Hanley (67),
former president of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union, died in a head-on collision
on a country highway near Land O' Lakes, Wisconsin. Before retiring amid a federal corruption board, Hanley had strong
political connections with Illinois Democratic leaders.
January 12, 2000: Professional basketball player Bobby Phills
(30) of the Charlotte Hornets was killed in a three-car accident after leaving morning practice at the Charlotte Coliseum. Two others
were injured in the accident. Witnesses reported that Phills was speeding in his Porsche and had been drag-racing with teammate David
Wesley at the time of the accident.
January 13, 1962: Comedian Ernie Kovacs
(42) lost control of his Chevrolet Corvair station wagon while driving home from a party. He was killed when his car
skidded into a telephone pole.
January 13, 2000: A member of the Kenyon College national champion women's
swimming team died when their van crashed on slick roads five miles east of Coshocton, Ohio. Ten other team members were
injured in the crash. Their team had won 16 straight NCAA Division III national championships.
January 14, 2002:
Cele Goldsmith Lalli,
an editor for Amazing Stories and Fantastic, was killed in a car accident near
her home in Connecticut. As an editor, she discovered such fantasy and science
fiction authors as Ursula K. LeGuin, Thomas Disch, and Roger Zelazny.
January 15, 1995: Vic Willis of the Willis Brothers country
singing group died in a one-car accident near Hohenwald, Tennesee.
January 15, 1996:
Moshoeshoe II (57), king of Lesotho, was killed in a car accident.
January 16, 1997: Bill Cosby's
son, Ennis Cosby (27), was shot
to death while changing a flat tire on a dark freeway exit ramp just outside Los Angeles, California.
January 16, 2000: John Morris Rankin (40), a member of the
Celtic group The Rankin Family, drowned when his Toyota 4-Runner
truck hit a large pile of rock salt, swerved, and then plunged over a
25-meter cliff into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. His son and two teenage
friends were able to climb to safety after the truck hit the water.
As one of Rankin's friends said, “Why is it that all the good people died like that?”
January 16, 2000: The driver
of a truck loaded with evaporated milk was killed when his truck went
wild and rammed into the state capitol
building in Sacramento, California.
January 17, 1970: Singer
Billy Stewart (32) died in an
auto accident. He was known for his song, “I Do Love You.”
January 17, 1997: University
of California Davis All-American track and field athlete Jill Peckler, her father, and her brother
were killed by a drunk driver. In 2001, her story was featured in a
major TV ad campaign against drinking while driving.
January 17, 2001: Retired
Admiral John B. Hayes (76) was
struck by a van and killed as he was hiking in Key Largo, Florida. As
commandant of the Coast Guard from 1978 to 1982, he led the Coast
Guard during the Mariel boatlift where thousands of Cubans fled to Florida.
January 17, 2008: Former Pittsburgh
Steeler defensive tackle Ernie Holmes (59)
died in a one-car accident. Holmes was driving alone when his car left the road
and rolled several times near Beaumont, Texas. He was not wearing a seat belt
and was ejected from the car. He died at the scene. Also a former pro wrestler
and an ordained minister, Holmes had been a member of
the Steel Curtain that led Pittsburgh to four Super Bowl wins in the 1970s.
January 19, 1976: Actor
Kevin Coughlin (30) was killed in a hit-and-run accident.
January 19, 2003: Soccer
player Milton Javier Flores (28),
goalie for the Honduran national soccer team, was killed by automatic
weapons fire as he sat in his parked car in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
After the shooting, he tried to drive himself to a hospital but drove
into a tree where he died. His car was riddled with 15 bullets.
January 19, 2005: Actor and rapper
Lamont Bentley (32) was killed in a
single-car accident while driving on Highway 118 near Simi Valley, California.
When his vehicle went over an embankment, his body was thrown into the path of
five cars which struck his body. Bentley is best known for his role as Hakeem
Campbell in the Moesha TV series.
January 21, 1994: Bassel Assad (31), son of Syrian President
Hafez Assad and head of the presidential security apparatus, was
killed when his Mercedes collided with a motorway roundabout. He had
been driving fast through fog on his way to the Damascus Airport when the collision occurred.
January 22, 1959: Auto racer
Mike Hawthorn (29) was killed in
his Jaguar on the Guildford bypass in Surrey, Great Britain. In 1955,
Hawthorn had won at LeMans and was the 1958 Formula One champion.
January 22, 2000: Open-wheel
racer Larry Deaton (41) was
killed in a three-car accident during the opening day of the Laughlin
Desert Challenge in Laughlin, Nevada. During the third lap on the
13-mile course, Deaton's car flipped and stalled before being hit by
two other cars. Deaton was dead by the time he was airlifted to a hospital in Las Vegas.
January 23, 1978: Singer
Vic Ames (51) of the Ames Brothers died in an auto wreck.
January 23, 2000: Linebacker
Derrick Thomas (33) of the Kansas
City Chiefs broke his neck and one of his friends, Michael Tellis (49), died after Thomas
lost control of his Chevrolet Suburban while speeding on a
snow-and-ice-covered stretch of Interstate 435. His car hit the
median and then rolled several times. Both Thomas and Tellis were not
wearing their seat belts and were thrown from the car. Another
friend, Joe Hagebusch, who was wearing his seat belt, survived the
crash with minor injuries. Thomas was paralyzed from the waste down
by his neck injury. Thomas died on February
8th of cardio-respiratory arrest probably caused by a blood clot
while attempting to recover from the accident at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida.
January 23, 2004: International glamour and fashion photographer Helmut Newton (83) was leaving the Chateau Marmont
hotel when he lost control of his Cadillac limousine and ploughed
into a nearby wall on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. He died in the crash.
January 24, 2002: Former Lebanese Christian warlord
Elie Hobeika (45) and at least three of his bodyguards were killed when a car bomb exploded outside
his house in Beirut, Lebanon.
January 29, 1994: Former Supreme Mary Wilson was injured
and her son (14) was killed when their Jeep hit a highway median and overturned near Barstow, California.
January 31, 1999: Jose Angel “Pepe”Farias (23) and Silvestre Rodriguez Jr. (26) of the Intocable Tejano band as well as Joe Angel Gonzalez, their road
manager, were killed in a car crash outside of Monterey, Mexico.
January 2002: Jack Shea (91), Olympic gold medal skater
as well as father of Jim Shea, an Olympic skier, and grandfather of Jim Shea
Jr., Olympic gold medalist in the skeleton, died when his car was hit by a van
that slid out of control (the driver of the van was apparently drunk).
February 1, 2010:
Justin Mentell (27), actor on the Boston Legal TV show, was
killed in a one-car accident in Wisconsin.
February 2, 1999: David McComb (37), former leader of the
Black-Eyed Susans and Triffids, died in Melbourne, Australia, while recovering at home from a car accident he had been involved in three days earlier.
February 3, 2004: Singer Gene Hughes (67) of the Casinos
doo-wop group died after a car accident in Nashville, Tennessee.
February 5, 1967: Actor Dirk Rambo, twin brother of Dack,
was killed in a fiery car crash in Hollywood, California.
February 5, 1998: Tim Kelly (34), guitarist for the
Slaughter band, died from injuries sustained when an 18-wheeler jackknifed and collided with his car on State Route 96 in Arizona.
February 6, 1960: Musician
Jesse Belvin (27) was killed in an automobile accident.
February 6, 1998: Austrian-born techno-pop singer Falco, aka Johann
Holzel (40) died from a head injury when he got drunk at a
party and got hit by a bus as he backed his SUV out into a street in
the Dominican Republic. He was best known for singing “Der Kommisar”
in German (1982) and “Rock Me Amadeus” (1986).
February 11, 2000: Don Schroeder (35), a senior technical
editor for Car and Driver magazine, died at Fort Stockton,
Texas,following the crash of a modified vehicle that he was test
February 11, 2012:
Jeffrey Zaslow (53), author of The Magic Room and The
Girls from Ames, was killed when he lost control of his car on a
snow-covered road and was hit by a semi-truck near Elmira, Michigan. Zaslow was
also the co-author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Last
February 12, 1995: Philip Taylor Kramer (42), bass player for the Iron
Butterfly rock band and a computer engineer, disappeared on the way
back home from the Los Angeles airport. His skeleton was discovered
four years later at the bottom of Decker Canyon near Malibu,
California (May 29, 1999).
February 14, 1994: NASCAR
driver Neil Bonnett (48) was
killed while practicing for the Daytona 500 race. He was killed as he
rounded turn 4. There's still a debate over the Hoosier tires he was
using at the time. Rodney Orr,
another NASCAR driver, was killed in a separate accident that same
February 15, 2002: San Diego
Padres outfielder Mike Darr (25)
and his friend Duane Johnson (23) were killed when Darr's sport
utility vehicle careened out of control, rolled over repeatly as it
crossed the Loop 101 freeway in northwest Phoenix, Arizona, crashed
through a fence, and landed on its top on a frontage road. Alcohol
may have been a factor in the accident. Ben Howard (23), a minor
league pitching prospect for the Padres, was slightly injured in the
crash. He was in the back seat wearing his seat belt; the other two
were in the front seat without their seat belts on.
February 17, 1979: Auto racer
Don Williams was left in a coma
for almost ten years as a result of a crash during the Sportsman 300
race. He died nearly ten years later without regaining consciousness.
February 18, 2001: NASCAR
driver Dale Earnhardt (49), known
as the Intimidator, died from head injuries sustained when he crashed
during the final lap of the Daytona 500. On the last lap, his car
touched bumpers with Sterling Marlin, then collided with Ken
Schrader, and drove straight into the outside wall. A seven-time
Winston cup champion, Earnhardt's seat belt did not protect him in the crash.
February 18, 2006:
Richard Bright (68), the character actor who played mob enforcer
Al Neri in all three Godfather movies, died after being hit by a bus. As
he was crossing a Manhattan street, he was hit and dragged by the rear wheel of
a tour bus. Bright had also been featured in The Getaway, Marathon Man,
Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Once Upon a Time in America, and many other movies.
He also appeared in many TV shows, including The Sopranos, Law & Order, Third
Watch, and Hill Street Blues.
February 20, 2000: Paul Manasseh (79), long-time sports
information director for Louisiana State University, died when he
lost control of his car and crashed into a tree. He had also been the
first public relations director for the Denver Broncos and a member
of the College Sports Information Directors Hall of Fame.
February 21, 1974:
Hall-of-Fame NHL defenseman Tim
Horton (44), who played 24 seasons with the Toronto Maple
Leafs, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo Sabres, was killed in an automobile accident shortly after what would be his final
professional hockey game. Having drunk a considerable amount of vodka, Horton
was driving on the Queen Elizabeth Way from Toronto to Buffalo in his De Tomaso
Pantera sports car when he failed to make a curve, lost control, and hit a
cement culvert. His car flipped over and he was thrown out of the car (he was
not wearing his seat belt). His car had been going over 100 miles per hour at
the time of the accident. Horton also founded a chain of donut shops
that bear his name.
February 21, 2000: A pioneer
of bodysurfing and bodyboarding, Joe
Wolfson (50), aka Dr. 360, was killed when his car veered
off the Marina Freeway, went down an embankment, and hit a tree.
Facing terminal cancer, he had previously left a note and paddled out
to sea to die, but was rescued when he went comatose.
February 23, 2000: Newspaper
editor Earl Selby (82) was killed
in an automobile crash in Monterey, California. He was city editor of
the Philadelphia Bulletin when it won a Pulitzer Prize in 1964
for reporting on corruption in the city. He had also been a reporter
for United Press, Esquire, Cornet, and Sun.
February 23, 2007:
Oliver Tomlinson (71), father of NFL MVP LaDainian Tomlinson, was
killed when the 1969 Chevy pickup truck in which he was riding blew a tire,
causing the truck to swerve out of control and flip on a highway near Waco, Texas.
February 23, 2015: Ben
Woolf (34), actor in the American Horror Story TV series, died
at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from a head injury sustained in a car accident.
February 26, 1990: Cornell Gunter (53) of the Coasters was
shot and killed while sitting in his car in Las Vegas, Nevada.
February 27, 1972: Actor Pat Brady (57), comic sidekick to Roy Rogers in may
films and his 1950s TV show, died of a heart attack sustained during a car accident.
February 27, 2011: Blues musician
Eddie Kirkland (87), died after a car
accident in Crystal River, Florida.
March 1, 1999: Sports writer
Tom McCollister (61) of the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution died in an automobile crash.
March 1, 2002: Grand Am series
driver Jeff Clinton (38) was
killed when he crashed during a practice run at the Homestead,
Florida race track. His Lola race car went off course as he entered
the first turn and the car flipped over repeatedly.
March 3, 1999: U.S. army
colonel Paul Stephen Lawrence
(72) died in an auto accident in Warrenton, Maryland.
March 5, 1995: Australian race
car driver Gregg Hansford died in a racing crash.
March 5, 1999: Idaho State
University defensive back Jacori
Rufus died in an automobile crash near Page, Arizona.
March 6, 1996: Track star
Kimberly Toone (22) of the State
University of New York at Albany was killed in a car crash.
March 6, 2004: Longtime NFL
executive Val Pinchbeck, Jr. (73)
was killed when he was hit by a taxi as he was crossing a midtown
street near NFL headquarters in New York City.
March 7, 1993: Motorcyclist
James Adano died in a crash
during practice runs at Daytona.
March 7, 1998: Actor and
stuntman Bill Cable (52) was killed in a motorcycle accident.
March 9, 1994: BBC reporter
John Harrison died in an auto accident.
March 9, 1997: Gangsta rapper
The Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie
Smalls, aka Christopher Wallace), age 24, was killed in a drive-by shooting while sitting in his car.
March 9, 1998: Ukrainian-born
prima ballerina Irina Matiash
Boitsova (38) was killed in an auto accident.
March 9, 1998: Formula Three
race car driver Alfredo Melandri
(25) died from injuries sustained in an automobile crash.
March 10, 1998: Edward Lee Rogers (66), assistant
secretary of the army for civil works during the Carter
administration, was killed in a car crash.
March 12, 1969: Motorcyclist
Wayne Bartz, was killed in a
crash during a lightweight motorcycle race at Daytona.
March 13, 1998: Cuban
revolutionary Manuel Pineiro
Losada (63) was killed in an auto crash.
March 13, 1999: La Salle
University religion professor Joseph
Keenan was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
March 14, 1971: Motorcycle
racer Joe “Rusty” Bradley was
killed in a crash during the Daytona 200 race in Florida.
March 14, 1999: Rock singer
Marius Müller was killed in
a car crash (that some say was caused by police) in Oslo, Norway.
March 14, 2009: Cleveland Browns wide
receiver Donte Stallworth hit and killed a
49-year-old pedestrian on a causeway between Miami and Miami Beach.
March 15, 2000: David and Grace Baker, the parents in the
movie thriller Glass House, starring Leelee Sobieski, were
killed in an automobile accident on this fictional date.
March 16, 1998: Ragtime
musician C. Charles Alexander
(76) was killed in an auto accident near Detroit, Michigan.
March 16, 1999: Eric Stokes (68), composer of experimental
operas, orchestral and chamber music, was killed in an auto accident
in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
March 21, 1956: Singer
Carl Perkins was seriously
injured in a car crash as he was en route to perform on the Perry
Como TV show. His brother, Jay
Perkins, was killed in the crash.
March 21, 1997: NASCAR truck
driver John Nemechek (27) died
from injuries sustained during a racing accident.
March 21, 2004: Afghan Civil
Aviation Minister Mirwais Sadiq,
son of provincial governor Ismail Khan, was killed when a
rocket-propelled grenade hit his car in the center of Herat,
Afghanistan, during factional fighting that left more than 100 dead.
March 22, 2003: Journalist
Paul Moran (39) of the Australian
Broadcasting Corporation TV network was killed in a car bomb
explosion in northern Kurdistan. While journalists were waiting at a
checkpoint outside the village of Khormal near the Iranian border, a
taxi appeared behind them and exploded.
March 23, 1981: Considered the
best motorcycle racer ever, Mike
Hailwood (40) died along with his daughter Michelle (9) in
a car accident near Birmingham, England. He had won ten World
Championships, 76 Grand Prix, and 15 T.T. Races on the Isle of Man.
After taking a eleven-year retirement, he won a T.T. Race as well as a World Championship in 1978.
March 23, 2001: Canadian eco
warrior David McTaggart, a leader
of Greenpeace, was killed in an automobile accident in his adopted home of Umbria, Italy.
March 24, 1998: Research
scientist Josephine Gichner Gimble (69) was killed in an auto accident.
March 25, 1999: Ukrainian
politician Vyacheslav Chornovil
(61) was killed in an auto accident near Kiev.
March 28, 2004: Singer
Adan Sanchez (19), son of
musician Marcelino “Chalino” Sanchez, died in a car accident in northwest Mexico.
March 29, 1999: Countess
Vera Tolstoy (95), granddaughter
of famous Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, died in New Smyrna Beach,
Florida from injuries suffered during an auto accident.
March 30, 1998: Singer and
songwriter Alexis G. Shepard (28)
was killed in a car crash.
March 31, 1997: Freelance TV
and video producer Jeremy Andrew
Rolfs (27) was killed in an auto accident.
April 1,1992: Soccer star
Juanito for the Madrid Real died in a car crash.
April 1, 2013: TV star
Shane Gandee (21) of the Buckwild
reality show died in an off-road car accident. A friend and an uncle also died
in the accident.
April 2, 1996: W. Haywood Burns (55), dean of the City
University of New York law school in Queen, died in an auto accident.
April 2, 1997: World-class
triathlete Judith Marie Flannery
(57) died in an auto accident.
April 3, 1997: Los Angeles
teachers union president Helen
Bernstein (52) died in a car accident.
April 3, 2015:
Robert Burns Jr. (64), founding drummer of the Southern hard rock
bankd Lynyrd Skynyrd, died in a single-car crash just before midnight near
Cartersville, Georgia. His car went off the road as it approached a curve, hit a
mailbox and a tree. Burns was not wearing a seatbelt.
April 4, 1998: Photographer
Janet Trent (24) of the
Stockton Record in California was killed in a car crash.
April 4, 2007: Movie director
Bob Clark (67) and his son Ariel (22) were
killed when a drunken driver struck their car on the Pacific Coast
Highway in Los Angeles, California. Clark was the director of such movies as
Porky's, A Christmas Story, Black Christmas, and Turk 182.
April 5, 1994: Hockey player
Mike Colman, Kansas City Blades
defenseman, died in a car crash.
April 5, 1998: British rock
drummer Cozy Powell (50) of Black
Sabbath, Rainbow, and Whitesnake died in an auto accident.
April 6, 1998: 1990 world
cycling champion Rudy Dhaenens
(36) died of injuries sustained in a car crash.
April 7, 1968: Jimmy Clark (32), perhaps the greatest
race car driver of all time, was killed during a Formula II race at
Hockenheim, Germany. He was a two-time Formula 1 champion (1963 and
1965) as well as winner of the 1965 Indianapolis 500.
April 7, 1988: WWF wrestler
Keith “Adrian Adonis” Franke (50)
drowned when his van plunged into a creek.
April 9, 1988: Singer Dave Prater (50) of Sam & Dave died in
an auto accident. Their biggest hit was “Soul Man.”
April 9, 1994: Cincinnati
football player Lewis Billups was
killed in an auto accident.
April 9, 1998: Big John Tate (43), former WBA heavyweight
boxing champion died in an auto accident.
April 9, 2009: California Angels pitcher
Nick Adenhart (22), was killed in a
hit-and-run auto accident after midnight in Fullerton, California. Two others
were killed in the crash caused by a drunken driver.
April 10, 1992: Loud-mouth
comedian Sam Kinison (38) was
killed in a head-on car crash in Needles, California. His newlywed wife Malika
also critically injured. The driver of the other car was a 17-year-old drunk.
April 13, 1971: Pittsburgh Penguin hockey
player Michel Briere (21) was thrown out of a car and suffered massive brain
injuries in a car accident in Malartic, Quebec, on May 15, 1970. Briere remained
in a coma for almost seven weeks. When he came out of the coma, he still would
fade in and out of consciousness for almost a year. After four major operations
to help recover from all his injuries, he died in the hospital on April 13,
April 13, 1993: Author
Wallace Stegner (82) died from
injuries caused by an automobile accident. Stegner was best known for
his novel, The Big Rock Candy Mountain. He won a Pulitzer
Prize for Angle of Repose and a National Book Award for The Spectator Bird.
April 13, 1993: The daughter of South Carolina Senator Strom
Thurmond was hit and killed by a drunk driver.
April 14, 1999: Italian
fashion mogol Nicola Trussardi
(56) died from injuries suffered in a car crash near Milan, Italy.
April 17, 1960: Rocker
Eddie Cochran (21) was killed in
a taxi crash in Chippenham, England. Gene Vincent was also seriously
hurt in the accident. Sharon Sheeley, Cochran's girlfriend and writer of the hit song
“Pool Little Fool,” fractured her pelvis in the same accident.
April 18, 1999: Walter “Skip” Walsh (41), director of
public health for Scituate, Massachusetts, was struck by a
car while cycling in Washington, D.C.
April 18, 1999: David B. McCall (71), creator of
television ad campaigns (for example, Norelco's shaver), was
killed in a car crash near Kukes, Albania.
April 19, 1906: Before
automobiles, there were horse carriages. Nobel Prize-winning
physicist Pierre Curie (47) died
after being run over by a horse and carriage.
April 19, 1996: Two men were
killed and two others injured in Oakland, California, when they
crashed their car while trying to get away from a riot outside a
concert by the rap group Tha Dogg
April 19, 1997: Tim Bishop (20), outfielder for the New
York Mets Class A Columbia team, died in an automobile accident.
April 19, 1999: Race car
driver Jeremiah Blaine Miller
(19), died in Martinsville, Indiana, because of injuries he suffered in a motorcycle accident.
April 20, 1998: Jim Toring (23), water polo All-American
at UCLA, died after being hit by a bus.
April 20, 1998: Raelene Michelle Pearce (22), stepdaughter of actress
Patty Duke, was killed in a sport-utility vehicle accident.
April 21, 1989: Car crash film
producer Toby Halicki (48) was
killed while shooting a car-crash stunt. His most famous film was
Gone in Sixty Seconds.
April 21, 1998: Tejano singer
Eloy Bernal (61) was killed when
the bus he was driving overturned.
April 22, 1995: John Madison
college football player John
Kraus was killed in an automobile accident.
April 22, 2002: Former porn star
Linda Lovelace (53), aka Linda
Boreman, died from injuries suffered in a car crash. She starred in the famous
Deep Throat porn movie and others before becoming an anti-pornography crusader.
April 23, 1970:
Herb Shriner (51), host of the 1950s game show Two for the Money,
died in a car accident. He is also the father of Kin Shriner and Wil Shriner.
April 23, 2007: Pulitzer-prize winning
journalist and historian
David Halberstam (73) was killed when University of California graduate student
Kevin Jones, who was
driving him to an interview, ran a light and made an illegal left turn into the path of a car.
The other car hit the passenger side of the car Halberstam was riding in. He
died almost instantly when a broken rib punctured his heart. Among Halberstam's
bestselling books were The Best and the Brightest, The Reckoning, The Breaks
of the Game, and The Powers That Be.
April 24, 1995: Ray Laiche, member of the Tulane football
team, was killed in an auto accident.
April 24, 1999: Frank Ford (51), defensive end on
Alabama's football team in 1966, died in a car crash.
April 25, 1928: Race car
driver Frank Lockhart, 1926
winner of the Indy 500, died during a land speed record attempt on
the sand at Daytona Beach, Florida. At the time of his death Lockhart
held the closed track (board) and the International Class F land
April 25, 1999: Kemistry (33), aka Kemi Olusanya, of the
drum 'n' bass duo Kemistry & Storm, was killed in an auto accident in England.
April 25, 2002: Rock star
Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez (30) of the
multi-platinum R&B trio TLC was killed in a car crash in Honduras
as a result of speeding under the influence of alcohol or ecstasy
(according to news reports). Friends say she was speeding up to pass
the cars in front who were going too slow. When doing so, she lost
control and hit a tree. The car flipped over several times and crashed.
April 28, 1980: Tommy Caldwell (30), bassist for the
Marshall Tucker Band, died of head injuries suffered during a car
accident near his home town of Spartanburg, South Carolina.
April 28, 1999: Arkansas
college football player Brandon
Burlsworth (19) died in an auto accident in Arkansas.
April 29, 2007: Relief pitcher
Josh Hancock (29) of the St. Louis Cardinals
died when his Ford Explorer struck the rear of a tow truck at 12:35 a.m.. The
tow truck had been in the left lane assisting another vehicle involved in a
prior accident. Three days before his death, Hancock had been involved in a
predawn accident where the front of his sports utility vehicle was clipped by a
tractor-trailer in Sauget, Illinois. Apparently Hancock hated night baseball
games followed by day games and would often drive around late at night when he
had trouble sleeping. A week later, the police reported that Hancock was drunk
and talking on his cell phone at the time of the accident. His blood alcohol
level was 0.157, almost twice Missouri's legal limit of 0.08. In addition, 8.55
grams of marijuana and a glass pipe were found in the SUV as well. Hancock was
driving at 68 mph in a 55 mph zone and was not wearing a seat belt at the time
of the accident.
April 30, 1994: Austrian race
car driver Roland Ratzenberger
died in a crash during practice for the San Marino Grand Prix.
May 1, 1994: Brazilian race
car driver Ayrton Senna, who some
consider to be the best Formula One pilot of all time, was killed in
a crash during the San Marino Grand Prix while he was leading the
race during lap 7.
May 1, 1996: Harness racing
trainer Ted Huntbach (38) was killed in an auto crash.
May 2, 1993: Winemaker
Julio Gallo (83) of Ernest &
Julio Gallo Winery, was killed in a jeep accident on his property in Modesto, California.
May 2, 1999: Harold William “Bill” Merritt Jr. (73),
director of the National Bonsai Foundation, was killed in an auto accident in Washington, D.C.
May 3, 1997: French race car
driver Stephane Enjolras (21) was killed in an auto crash.
May 3, 1999: Carolina
Hurricanes hockey player Steve
Chiasson (32) was killed in a truck accident in Raleigh, North Carolina.
He was returning home after a team party (after the team had been eliminated in
the playoffs). His blood-alcohol level was over three times the legal limit.
May 3, 2010: Former NFL linebacker and
Georgia Tech star Nick Rogers (30) died in a
one-car accident. He was killed around 1:30 a.m. when his car hit a utility pole
in College Park, Georgia. In four NFL seasons, Rogers played for the Minnesota
Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, and Miami Dolphins.
May 4, 1935: Child star
Jackie Coogan broke two ribs in a
car crash that killed his father Jackie
Coogan Sr., their ranch foreman Charles Jones (24), radio actor Robert Horner (25), and child star Trent Durkin (19). His father, who was driving
the car, swerved to avoid an on-coming car, lost control, slammed
into a canyon wall, and fell down a 45-foot embankment on the San
Diego-Imperial Valley Highway.
May 5, 1977: British race card
driver Tom Pryce was killed in
the South African Grand Prix race.
May 6, 2005: Texas legislator
Joe Moreno (40) was killed in an auto crash
near La Grange, Texas. The Houston Democrat had been a state representative since 1998.
May 7, 1993: Polish scientist-consul general Hubert
Romanowski was killed in an auto accident.
May 7, 2007: Boxer
Diego Corrales (29) died in a motorcycle accident. He was a former
super featherweight and lightweight world champ.
May 8, 1982: Canadian auto
racer Gilles Villeneuve died when
his turbo-charged Ferrari Formula One car crashed during practice for
the Belgium Grand Prix.
May 8, 1993: Tampa Bay
Buccaneers strength coach Dennis
Green was killed in an auto crash.
May 8, 2000: AIDS-education
crusader Henry J. Nicols (26),
died from injuries sustained in a car crash that occurred in April.
Nichols, a hemophiliac, contracted HIV from a blood transfusion when
he was 12. As an Eagle Scout, he began a national crusade to educated
people about HIV and AIDS.
May 9, 1998: News director
Charles Snyder (49) of
Springfield television station KOLR died in an auto accident.
May 9, 1998: Belgian
motorcycle racer Michael Paquay
died from injuries sustained earlier in a racing crash.
May 10, 1967: Italian race car
driver Lorenzo Bandini was killed
in a crash at the Monaco Grand Prix race.
May 10, 2008:
Gary Hunt, co-owner of Iconoclast Books in Ketchum, Idaho, was killed
in a car accident very late at night while returning home from an open mike
event at the bookstore.
May 11, 1999: Vice president
Richard Nixon's legislative assistant Charles McWhorter (77) died in
Massachusetts, from injuries sustained in a May 1st car accident.
May 11, 2008: Gospel singer and
songwriter Joyce “Dottie” Rambo (74) died when the
tour bus she was traveling in ran off Interstate 44, struck a guard rail, and hit an
embankment. The accident occurred two miles east of Mount Vernon, Missouri.
May 12, 1960: Prince Aly Khan (48), son of Aga Khan
(Asian and African Ismaili Muslim leader) and husband of screen
legend Rita Hayworth, was killed in France in a head on collision with another automobile.
May 12, 1961: Race car driver
Melvin E. “Tony” Bettenhausen
(44), national racing champion in 1951, was killed while test driving
a racecar at the Indianapolis Speedway.
May 12, 2000: Adam Petty (19), the first-ever
fourth-generation Winston Cup race car driver, died after crashing
into a wall during a practice session at New Hampshire International
Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Petty was the son of driver Kyle
Petty, the grandson of racing legend Richard Petty, and the great grandson of Lee Petty.
May 13, 1998: Fashion designer
John Paul Gibson (44), co-founder
of two San Francisco-based fashion houses, died from head injuries
sustained during an auto accident.
May 14, 1988: The worst drunk-driving accident in U.S.
history occurred when Larry Mahoney, driving a Toyota
pickup on the wrong side of Interstate 71 in northern Kentucky, hit a
bus full of children from Radcliff First Assembly of God Church. 27
people died in the crash, 24 of them children or teenagers. Mahoney
went to jail for eleven years.
May 15, 1982: Race car driver
Gordon Smiley died during time
trials before the Indy 500 race when his car slammed into a wall.
May 15, 1998: Minnesota state
champion body-builder William W.
Carlson (67) was killed in a car crash.
May 16, 1966: Race car driver
Chuck Rodee (39) was killed
during a qualifying run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A rag or
piece of paper flew across his face, causing him to lost control and
skid. He lapsed into a coma and died soon thereafter.
May 16, 1998: Former Atlanta
Braves and California Angels baseball outfielder Rufino Linares (47) was killed in an auto accident.
May 17, 1996: Race car driver
Scott Brayton (37) was killed
during a practice run after gaining the pole position for that year's Indianapolis 500 race.
May 18, 1999: Brazilian soap
opera writer Alfredo de Freitas Dias
Gomes (77) was killed in an auto accident in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
May 19, 1935: Author and
adventurer T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of
Arabia) died as a result of a motorcycle crash in England.
May 20, 2000: Minnesota
Timberwolves basketball guard Malik
Sealy (30) was killed around 4:00 a.m. when his sports
utility vehicle was hit head-on by a pickup truck heading the wrong
way on a divided highway in a Minneapolis suburb. The driver of the pickup truck was drunk.
May 20, 2012:
Randy "Macho Man" Savage, aka Randy Mario Poffo (58), professional
wrestler, was killed in a car accident near Tampa, Florida.
May 21, 1994: Drag car racer
Jimmy Nix was killed in a crash at the Texas Motorplex.
May 21, 1998: Melanie Anne (Macaronis) Brown (37),
adjunct professor of law at Suffolk University Law School, was killed in a car crash.
May 21, 2005: Short story author
was killed in a car accident in Columbus, Ohio. Her stories appeared in a number
of science fiction magazines, a few almost winning her Nebula awards.
May 21, 2008:
Marie Sue Chapman, the five-year-old daughter
of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman, was killed when the SUV driven by
her older brothers hit her in the Chapman family's driveway.
May 23, 1934: Bank robbers
Bonnie Parker and
Clyde Barrow were shot to death in a police ambush as they were
driving a stolen Ford Deluxe along a road in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
May 23, 1997: Tim Taylor, member of the Brainiac rock
band, was killed in a car accident.
May 23, 2005: Oklahoma State senior
football player Vernon Grant (22) died in an
automobile accident. He was turning his car across traffic onto Interstate 45 in
Dallas, Texas, when his car was rammed broadside by an oncoming car.
May 24, 1999: Indian wrestler
trainer Guru Hanuman (99) died in
an auto accident in Northern India.
May 25, 1964: Race car driver
Eddie Sachs was killed in a crash
during the second lap of the Indianapolis 500. Dave McDonald also died as a result of the
crash (but not that day).
May 26, 1994: USAC sprint car
national champion Robbie Stanley
(26) died in an accident at the Winchester Speedway. He had been
national champion in 1991, 1992, and 1993.
May 27, 1999: Mary A. Dugan (64), Immaculata College
chemistry professor, was killed in a Pennsylvania auto accident.
May 29, 1998: Orlando Anderson (23), the prime suspect
in the murder of Tupac Shakur, was shot to death at a Compton,
California carwash following a gun battle that left two other men
dead. Anderson was gunned down in the wake of a previous monetary
May 29, 2008:
Luc Bourdon (21), a rookie defenseman with the Vancouver Canucks, was
killed when his motorcycle struck a tractor-trailer near Shippagan, New
May 30, 1955: Race car driver
Bill Vukovich Sr. (36) was killed
in a crash that occurred while he was leading the Indianapolis 500
race and attempting to lap the cars in the rear of the race.
Considered by many as the greatest Indy 500 driver of all time, he
had won the 1953 and 1954 Indianapolis 500 races.
May 30, 1958: Race car driver
Pat O'Connor (29) was killed as a
result of an accident on the first lap of the Indianapolis 500 race.
He died four days later.
May 30, 1975: Long distance
runner Steve Prefontaine (24) was
killed in a one-car rollover accident while returning home to Eugene,
Oregon after drinking four or five beers at a party. The beers proved
too much for him to handle while driving. Known as “Pre” by many of
his fans, Prefontaine was the greatest middle to long distance runner
in the history of the United States. He set 14 U.S. records during his career.
Memorial Day weekend, 1977: St. Louis
Blues defenseman Bob Gassoff attended a
post-season party at Garry Unger's farm near Gray Summit, Missouri. Gassoff was
riding one of the farm's motorcycles when he collided with a vehicle on a road
near the farm. He died instantly. He was not wearing a helmet at the time.
June 2, 1998: WWF wrestler
Sylvester “Junk Yard Dog” Ritter
(45) died in an automobile accident.
June 2, 2005: Famed internet
marketer Corey Rudl (34) died in a track crash. Driver
Benjamin Keaton (39)
was unable to handle his 2005 Porsche Carrera GT as it left the inside track
and careened out of control onto the grass and hit a barrier. Rudl died at
the crash site while Keaton lived another hour before dying at the hospital.
The car was going 100 mph at the time of the crash. The accident occurred at
the San Bernardino Speedway during an amateur racing day hosted by the San
Diego chapter of the Ferrari Owners Club.
June 4, 2000: Author and
musician Glen Alyn (53) and his
daughter Sequoia Myers (19) died as a result of injuries sustained in
the wreck of their car. Alyn was the author of I Say Me for a
Parable and Huckleberry Minh: A Walk Through Dreamland.
June 6, 1975: Larry Blyden (49), host of What's My
Line, died in a car crash. Blyden had also been a panelist on the TV game
show To Tell the Truth.
June 7, 1993: Croatian basketball star
Drazen Petrovic (28) was killed in an
automobile accident. Petrovic played for the Croatian national team as well as NBA's New Jersey Nets.
June 10, 1926: The great
Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi
(73) was run down by a street car. The city police, not recognizing
him and thinking that he was a poor man, took him to Holy Cross
Hospital of Barcelona, where he died among the poor people.
June 10, 1946: Heavyweight
boxing champion Jack Johnson (68)
was killed in a car accident.
June 11, 1966: Sprint car
driver Jud Larson (43) was
leading the race at Reading Speedway in Reading, Pennsylvania when
his car and one driven by Red
Riegel made contact. Both cars started flipping down the
race track, with both ending upside down. Both drivers died in the accident.
June 11, 1970: Singer and actor
Earl Grant (39) died in a car accident in
Lordsburg, New Mexico.
June 11, 2000: Civil rights
activist Earl T. Shinhoster (49),
CDO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People, was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Macon County,
Alabama. The driver of the car apparently lost control after a tire
blew out. The car went off Interstate 85, overturned, and hit a tree.
Shinhoster, a passenger, was killed, while the driver was severely injured.
June 14, 2004: Dan Cracchiolo (39), producer of The
Matrix and Swordfish, was killed when a car slammed into
him while he was riding his Ducati motorcycle in the Hollywood Hills.
June 15, 2008: Former Marshall and
Indianapolis Colts defensive end Johnathan Goddard died after a motorcycle
accident in northern Florida on Saturday, June 14th. His motorcycle went off the
shoulder of a road at a high speed and overturned. He died in the hospital early
the next morning.
June 17, 1956: Race car driver
Bob Sweikert (30) was killed in a
sprint car race at the Salem, Indiana Speedway.
June 18, 1973: Roger Delgado (55), the Master in the “Doctor
Who” series died after his car ran off a road in Turkey. He was traveling with two film technicians in a hired car when the car ran
off a bend in the road because it was going too fast. One technician
was also killed. The driver and the other technician were seriously injured but survived.
June 18, 2005: Comic book artist
Andy Roberts (42) died after sustaining
injuries when struck by a motorcycle on June 12. He wrote Frieda's Friends
and helped set up the small press comic convention Caption. In addition, Roberts
was a songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist for the London rock group Linus.
June 18, 2013: Journalist and book author
Michael Hastings (33) was killed when his
Mercedes, while traveling at high speed, crashed into a tree and caught fire.
Hours before his crash, he sent an email to friends warning them that federal
authorities were interviewing his friends and that he needed to go off the radar
for a bit. Earlier that day, he had tried to borrow his neighbor's car because
he was afraid that some sinister government force had tampered with his car.
June 20, 2011: Jackass TV and
movie star Ryan Dunn (34) and his friend Zachary Hartwell (30) died in a car
accident on a Pennsylvania highway.
June 21, 1996: Jim Ellison (32), singer with the Material
Issue band, was found dead in his garage in Chicago, Illinois, the
victim of an apparent suicide.
June 25, 1986: Country singer
George Strait's 13-year-old
daughter was killed in an automobile accident in Texas.
June 25, 1992: Philadelphia
Eagles defensive lineman Jerome
Brown was killed in an automobile accident.
June 26, 1967: French actress
Francoise Borleac (25) was killed
when her sports car crashed and burned near Nice, France. She had
starred in such movies as That Man from Rio and Young Girls of Rochefort.
June 27, 2011:
Lorenzo Charles (47) died when he lost control of a charter bus he
was driving and crashed into trees in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He was the
only person in the vehicle. After college, Charles played one season in the NBA
and then played internationally and in the Continental Basketball Association
until 1999. At the time of his death, he was a professional bus driver driving
charter buses for sports teams, etc.
June 28, 1914: The Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the
Habsburg throne, and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated while parading
in an automobile in Sarajevo, Serbia by Gavrilo Princip, a
Bosnian-Serb nationalist. This event sparked the start of what is now known as World War I.
June 29, 1967: Actress
Jayne Mansfield (34), aka Vera
Jayne Palmer, her boyfriend attorney Sam Brody, and Ronnie Harrison (the driver) died when their
car hit the back of a mosquito abatement truck that was spraying the
road (Highway 90 between Slidell and New Orleans, Louisiana) late at night. Mansfield, Brody, and three of her children
(including actress Mariska Hargitay) were
on the way from a performance in Biloxi, Mississippi to a talk show
appearance in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her children survived the crash.
June 29, 2002: Gene Kan (25), one of the key programmers
behind the file-sharing program Gnutella, died as a result of an
accident (details were withheld at the request of the family). It's
possible it wasn't an auto accident.
June 30, 2000: Stock car racer
Scott Baker (43) died after
losing control of his car and striking a bank of tires just four laps
from the finish line in the Jasper Engines & Transmissions ARCA
150 at the Toledo Speedway in Ohio.
June 30, 2004: Former NBA
center Manute Bol was seriously
injured when the cab he was riding in rolled over, killing the driver
and throwing Bol from the car in Hartford, Connecticut.
July 1, 1998: University
professor Thomas Roy Ittyerah
(56) died in surgery for injuries sustained after a tree fell on his car.
July 1, 2004: A bomb exploded
under one of the cars in the convoy of Ehsan
Karim, head of Iraq's Board of Supreme Audit and a top
investigator into the United Nations's oil-for-food program in Iraq.
He died several days later of injuries sustained during the bombing attack.
July 2, 1964: NASCAR racer
Glenn “Fireball” Roberts died in a racing crash.
July 2, 1973: Racing driver
Swede Savage died from injuries
sustained in May during the Indianapolis 500.
July 2, 1994: Cuban boxer
Robert Balado was killed in an auto accident.
July 2, 2000: Joey Dunlop (48), five-time motorcycle
world champion, was killed in a crash during a road race in Tallinn, Estonia.
July 3, 1957: Actress Judy Tyler (24) and her husband Gregory
Lafayette were killed in an automobile accident near Billy the Kid,
Wyoming. Driving home to New York from Los Angeles, her husband
swerved to avoid hitting a truck and collided with another. He died
that evening; she died the next morning from injuries sustained in
the accident. Tyler, born Judith Hess, had just completed work on her
second film, Jailhouse Rock, playing opposite Elvis Presley.
Presley was so broken up by her death that he wouldn't watch the
movie after that. Tyler had also played the part of Princess
Winterspring Summerfall, the Indian princess on the Howdy Doody show.
July 4, 1994: WWF wrestling
referee Joey Marella died in an auto accident.
July 4, 1995: General Becher Moussa Houno, chief of staff of
Chad's armed forces, died in an auto accident.
July 5, 2008: Former San Diego Charger
football safety Terrence Kiel (27), died
about an hour after being thrown from his Chevy sedan after hitting a wall in
the upscale Scripps Ranch neighborhood of San Diego, California. He had been
returning home from a party around 10:15 at night.
July 5, 1994: Tawfik Ziad, mayor of Nazareth, Israel, died in an auto accident.
July 5, 1998: Minnesota nature
photographer Nadine Blacklock
died in an automobile accident.
July 6, 1958: Italian racing
driver Luigi Musso was killed in
the French Grand Prix.
July 6, 1961: Jazz bassist
(Rocco) Scott LaFaro (26), a
free-jazzer pioneer, was killed when his car left the highway, struck
a tree, and burned. LaFaro recorded and played with such jazz greats
as Bill Evans, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, and Pat Moran.
July 6, 1972: Actor Brandon De Wilde (30) died in a motorcycle crash in
Lakewood, Colorado while en route to perform in the play, Butterflies Are
Free. Swerving to avoid another vehicle, he struck a construction trailer
parked on the side of the road, and was pinned under the wreckage of his
motorcycle for some time before being taken to Denver General Hospital. He died
four hours later.
July 6, 2003: Josh Speer (21), a Marine who helped
rescue Jessica Lynch and returned home to a hero's welcome, was on
his way to see his fiancée when his car slammed into a tree in Greenville, South Carolina.
July 7, 1968: Austrian race
car driver Jo Schlesser was
killed in a crash at the French Grand Prix.
July 7, 2000: NASCAR driver
Kenny Irwin, Jr. (30) died when
his car hit a wall and flipped on its roof during a practice run
before the New England 300 race at the New Hampshire International
Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. He crashed within yards of where
driver Adam Petty was also killed in a practice run less than two months earlier.
July 8, 2000: Producer and
director Laurel Vlock (74) died
from injuries sustained in a car accident. She had founded the
Holocaust Survivors Film Project in 1979. In 1981, she won an Emmy
for "Forever Yesterday," a documentary about Holocaust survivors.
July 9, 1998: Motorcyclist
E. Michael Smith, who had founded
organizations devoted to promoting the historic preservation and safe
use of motorcycles, died in a motorcycle accident.
July 9, 2005: Book packager
Byron Preiss died in a car accident while
returning home from synagogue.
July 9, 1999: Astronaut
Charles “Pete” Conrad (69) was
killed in a motorcycle accident near Ojai, California. He ran off the
road during a bike ride with friends. He was taken to the hospital
with what was believed to be minor injuries but died six hours later
from internal bleeding. Conrad was the veteran of four space flights,
including Gemini 5 in 1965, the first Skylab mission in 1973, and
Apollo 12, where he became the third person to walk on the moon.
July 10, 2007: Pulitzer Prize-winning
cartoonist Doug Marlette (57) died when the
pickup truck he was riding in hydroplaned on a wet highway, jumped the curb, and hit a
tree in Mississippi. Marlette was the editorial cartoonist for the Tulsa
World newspaper as well as the creator of the Kudzu comic strip
beloved by many.
July 12, 1996: Richard Long (46), CEO of GT Bicycles,
died in a car crash.
July 12, 2001: Driver Ralph Chandler Bruning Jr. (31) died
during a qualifying run for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
His 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo missed a right-hand turn about 3/8 of
a mile from the starting line. He was the first driver who died on
the mountain (although two others drivers in the hill climb had died
in hospitals after crashes).
July 13, 1994: Restaurateur
Bob Payton died in an automobile accident.
July 13, 1997: TV anchorwoman
Lee Evans (26) of KFOR-TV died in a car crash.
July 14, 1973: Byrds guitarist
Clarence White (29) was killed by
a drunk driver who hit him while he was loading music equipment into
a van. He was co-inventor of the Parsons-White string bender for guitars.
July 14, 1996: British
motorcycle racer Lee Pullan died
in a crash during a 24-hour motorcycle race in Francorchamps, Belgium.
July 15, 1958: John Lennon's
mother, Julia Lennon, died in an automobile accident.
July 15, 1989: English soccer
star Laurie Cunningham (33) was
killed in a road accident in a suburb of Madrid, Spain.
July 15, 1994: Race car driver
Ron Biellier died of a heart attack during a race.
July 16, 1981: Musician and
singer Harry Chapin (38) died of
a heart attack when his Volkswagen Rabbit was rear-ended by a truck
on the Long Island Expressway in New York. Among other hits, Chapin
wrote “Cat's in the Cradle.”
July 17, 1974: Country music guitarist
and fiddler Donald Eugene Ulrich, aka Don
Rich (33), was killed in a motorcycle accident along Highway 99 north of
Bakersfield, California. He was on his way to join his family for a summer
vacation when he lost control of his motorcycle and hit a guard rail. As the
guitarist for The Buckaroos, he had 19 #1 country hits in the 1960s.
July 18, 1966: Singer Bobby Fuller (23) of the Bobby Fuller Four
was found dead in his car in Los Angeles, California. The exact cause
was never determined. Fuller was best known for his hit song, “I Fought the Law.”
July 18, 1991: Jazz trumpeter
David Hines (49) was killed on
his birthday when his motorcycle was hit by a car in University City, Missouri.
July 18, 1997: Planetary
scientist Eugene M. Shoemaker
(69), one of the discoverers of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet, was
killed in an automobile accident in central Australia. In 1999,
Shoemaker's ashes were the first to be buried on the moon.
July 19, 1969: Senator
Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts
drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island late one night.
Campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne (28),
a passenger in the car, died.
July 20, 1991: Composer
Earl Robinson was killed in an
automobile accident in Seattle, Washington. Robinson co-wrote Three
Dog Night's hit single “Black and White.”
July 21, 1990: USAC sprint car
and midget car driver Rich Vogler
(39) was killed in a crash while leading a sprint car race at the
Salem Speedway in Salem, Indiana. With only a lap left to go, he was
declared the posthumous winner of the race. The race was being
broadcast nationally on the Saturday Night Thunder on ESPN.
July 21, 1991: British race
car driver Paul Warwick died in an automobile crash.
July 21, 1998: Karen Anderson (35), designer of the
Jaguar XK8, was killed in a car crash.
July 22, 1998: Scientist
Eugene Aserinsky (77), discover
of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, died in an automobile accident.
July 23, 1980: Keyboardist Keith Godchaux (32) of the Grateful Dead
rock band died as the result of injuries sustained in a car crash two days earlier.
July 23, 1993:
James Raymond Jordan Sr. (56), father of basketball legend Michael
Jordan, was killed at a rest stop near Lumberton, North Carolina. He was
sleeping in his car when two men shot him, robbed him, stole his car, and dumped
his body in a swamp near Bennettsville, South Carolina. Jordan had been
returning from a funeral when he stopped at the rest stop to sleep for awhile.
July 23, 1997: Cuban salsa
musician Elio Reve Matos (66)
died in an automobile accident.
July 23, 2002: Saudi prince
Sultan bin Faisal bin Turki bin
Abdullah (41), owner of the Lu'lu health care business in
Saudi Arabia, died in an automobile crash as he was driving to the
funeral of his cousin, Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, owner of War
Emblem, winner of the 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness races. The
high speed of the prince's car was a likely cause of the accident.
The prince and his cousin were later rumored to be funnelers of cash
to Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
July 24, 1998: Glenn Knudsvig (57), a classical studies
professor at the University of Michigan, died in a car crash.
July 25, 1997: Drag race car
driver Carrie Neal (25) died in a racing accident.
July 25, 1998: Motorcycle
daredevil Todd Seeley (35) died
from injuries sustained while doing a stunt.
July 26, 1964: Chicago Bears
football players Willie Galimore
and John Farrington were killed in a car crash.
July 29, 1951: Race car driver
Walt Brown (39) was warming up
his Jack Robbins Special when the car went into a slow tumble during
the second turn at the Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania. He
died soon after arriving at Carlisle Hospital.
July 29, 1951: Race car driver
Cecil Green (31) lost control of
his car at the Winchester Speedway in Indiana, went over an
embankment, and died on his way to the hospital.
July 29, 1951: Minutes later at the
Winchester Speedway, race
car driver Bill Mackey (born
William Gretsinger Jr.) was killed during his qualifying attempt as
his car spun out of the track at the same point as Green's car.
Because of the three drivers killed on this day in separate
incidents, this day has come to be known as Racing's Black Sunday.
July 29, 1973: Race car driver
Roger Williamson (25) died in a
fire when his car flipped over in a crash on the 7th lap of the Dutch
Grand Prix Formula One race. Williamson only raced in two Formula One
events: the one in which he died and an earlier one (the British
Grand Prix) where he was involved in a multi-car crash.
July 30, 1971: Race car driver
David Pearl died in a crash
during the Paul Whiteman Trophy Race at Daytona.
July 31, 1954: Argentine race
car driver Onofre Marimon died in
a crash during a qualifying race for the Grand Prix.
August 1, 1988: Actor
Trindad Silver (38) of the Hill Street
Blues TV show was killed in an auto accident.
August 5, 1989: Oakland
Raiders safety Stacey Toran, died
in an alcohol-related auto accident.
August 9, 1999: Pop music
impresario Bob Herbert (57),
developer of the Spice Girls, died in a automobile crash in England.
August 9, 2000: French writer
Louis Nucera (72), winner of the
Grand Prize of the Academie Francaise, died when he was struck by a
car while riding his bike on a small road in Carosse, France. The
driver of the car had been trying to overtake another car when he struck Nucera.
August 11, 1956: American pop
artist Jackson Pollock (44) lost
control of his convertible while driving near East Hampton, New York,
hit an oak tree, and died instantly of a skull fracture.
August 11, 2003: Hockey Hall
of Fame coach Herb Brooks (66),
coach of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Miracle on Ice team at Lake Placid,
New York, was killed in a one-car accident on Interstate 35 near
Forest Lake, Minnesota. His car left the road, turned over, and threw
him out of the car. Brooks had coached two U.S. Olympic hockey teams
as well as the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars, New Jersey
Devils, and Pittsburgh Penguins. He was named to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990.
August 12, 2006: Assistant propmaster
Nick Papac (25) was killed while working on
the film The Kingdom directed by Peter Berg. While driving a Gator
all-terrain vehicle on a closed portion of the Loop 202 freeway in Mesa,
Arizona, he collided with a Cadillac Escalade SUV driven by another crew member
and suffered severe head injuries, dying several hours later. The crew had been
filming a chase scene on the road earlier in the day. Papac had worked on other
films in the past, including Hostage, Miami Vice, and Flags of Our
August 13, 1992: Race car
driver Clifford Allison (27)
brother of Davey and son of Bobby, died from injuries sustained in a
one car crash while practicing at the Michigan International Raceway.
August 13, 2006:
Lance Gunnin (50), a construction foreman for The Kingdom
film died two days after being hit by a drunk driver while driving his
Harley-Davidson motorcycle on Baseline Road in Phoenix, Arizona. Gunnin had
worked on many other films as a construction foreman or propmaker, including
Monster-in-Law, Hostage, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, House of Sand and Fog,
Legally Blonde, and others. Sadly, the drunk driver (also under the
influence of cocaine) walked free after a jury found him not guilty in May,
August 16, 1949: Margaret Mitchell (48), author of Gone
With the Wind, died in Atlanta, Georgia several days after being
struck down by a speeding taxi driven by an intoxicated cabdriver.
August 16, 1999: A cameraman
was killed when a stunt car overshot its target and crashed into the
camera. The accident occurred during filming of the French thriller,
Taxi 2, directed by Gerard
Krawczyk in Paris, France. Two other film crew and a security guard
were also hurt in the incident.
August 16, 2005: Animator
Joe Ranft (45) died when his car plunged off
a cliff into the Pacific Ocean. Ranft worked for Disney and Pixar, beginning
with The Brave Little Toaster. He worked as a writer, director and voice
artist, providing voices for Heimlich in A Bug's Life and Wheezy in Toy Story 2.
August 17, 2007: Pro basketball player
Eddie Griffin (25) died when he ignored a
railroad warning, drove his sports utility vehicle through a barrier, and
collided with a moving freight train in Houston, Texas. A five-year NBA veteran,
Griffin had battled alcohol problems since entering the league. Originally
drafted #7 by the Houston Rockets, he had also played with the Minnesota
August 17, 2010: Plastic surgeon Frank
Ryan (50) died in a terrible automobile crash just moments after tweeting about
his day out with his dog on the Malibu sand dunes. His tweet: After 25 years
of driving by, I finally hiked to the top of the giant sand dune on the (Pacific
Coast Highway) west of Malibu. Much harder than it looks! Whew!
August 18, 2000: American
artist Rudolph Wendelin, who drew
Smokey the Bear for forty years, was a passenger in a car driven by
his daughter when the car skidded out of control and struck a truck
and highway divider on rain-slicked Interstate 64 in Norfolk,
Virginia. Wendelin suffered severe injuries in the accident and died
13 days later on August 31, 2000.
August 19, 1975: Race car driver Mark Donohue, winner of the 1972
Indianapolis 500 and author of The Unfair Advantage, died
three days after his car slid under a guardrail during a practice run for the 1975 Formula 1 race
in Graz, Austria.
August 19, 1995: U.S. Deputy
Assistant Secretary of State Robert
Frasure and two other American negotiators were killed
when their car plunged over a mountain road near Sarajevo, Bosnia.
August 19, 2008:
LeRoi Moore (46), a founding member of the Dave Matthews Band,
died of injuries sustained in an ATV accident.
August 21, 1974: Tennessee sheriff
Buford Pusser (36), subject of the
Walking Tall movies, was killed in an automobile accident, the result of foul play.
August 21, 1960:
Glen Glenn, founder of Glen Glenn Sound, a major Hollywood sound
company, was killed in a car crash in New Brunswick, Canada.
August 23, 1962: Race car
driver James Hemmings (28) was
killed in a multiple car accident at a race in Marion, Ohio.
August 23, 1962: In an episode
of the CBS afternoon soap opera, As the World Turns, one of
America's favorite daytime sweethearts, Jeff
Baker, was killed in an automobile accident because Mark
Rydell, who played Baker, wanted out of his contract. The incident
was called The Automobile Accident That Shook the Nation by TV Guide.
August 23, 2000: John Holahan (83), creator of Lucky Charms
cereal, died in an automobile accident.
August 23, 2002: Former NFL
linebacker Wayne Simmons (32) was
killed in a single-car wreck on Interstate 70. A 1993 first-round
pick who won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers, Simmons was
speeding and weaving through traffic when his car slid off the
Interstate, rolled several times, and caught fire in the ditch.
August 26, 2000: Race car
driver Douglas Chilton (33) was
killed when his custom-built Chevrolet stock car went out of control
and collided with another car during a race at the 311 Motor
Speedway, near Madison, North Carolina.
August 28, 2004: Indian Larry (55), bike stunt rider,
suffered major head injuries when he crashed during a stunt at a bike
show in Charlotte, North Carolina. He died two days later from the injuries.
August 29, 1999: Former NFL
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jaime
Fields (29) was killed when a driver of a Ford Taurus ran
a red light and hit the driver's side of Field's BMW in a suburb of Los Angeles, California.
August 30, 1991: Country
singer Dottie West (58) was
killed as a result of riding with her 81-year-old neighbor George
Thackston. Trying to make up for lost time on their way to a Grand
Ole Opry performance, George sped at 55 mph on an Opryland exit ramp
(with a posted speed of 25 mph). George lost control of the car,
which left the roadway, went airborne for 165 feet, and struck an
embankment. George was severely injured, but Dottie died five days
later (September 4) on the operating table. Her liver and spleen had
sustained too much damage.
August 30, 1996: Drag racer
Blaine Johnson (32) died from injuries he
sustained during afternoon qualifying in the top fuel dragster class at
Indianapolis Raceway Park.
August 30, 2002: Former Oakland Raiders
center Dave Dalby (51) died in a car
accident in Orange County, California.
August 31, 1997: Princess Diana of Wales (36), her
companion Dodi Fayed (42), and their
driver were killed in an automobile accident in Paris, France, while
trying to get away from pursuing paparazzi on motorcycles.
September 1, 1957: French-horn
player Dennis Brain (46) of the
BBC Symphony was killed when he lost control of his favorite sports
car while driving overnight to London, England.
September 3, 1999: Heavyweight
boxer Cleveland “Big Cat”
Williams was killed in an auto-pedestrian accident.
Williams fought Muhammad Ali at the Astrodome in 1966.
September 3, 2001: Actress
Thuy Trang (27) was killed in an automobile
accident. She had starred as Trini Kwan, the Yellow Power Ranger in the
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers TV show during the 1990s.
September 3, 2010: Comedian
Robert Schimmel (60) died as the result of
injuries sustained in a car accident. The day before he had been a passenger in
a car driven by his daughter Aliyah who swerved to avoid another car causing her
car to roll over on the freeway in Phoenix, Arizona.
September 4, 1923: Race car
driver Howard “Howdy” Wilcox (34)
was killed in a racing accident at Altoona, Pennsylvania.
September 5, 1970: Race car
driver Jochen Rindt (28), winner
of the 1965 Le Mans, was killed in a car crash as he practiced for
the 1970 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Even though he wasn't able to
complete the race year, he was still the Formula 1 world champion for 1970.
September 7, 1996: Rapper
Tupac Shakur (25) was shot and
wounded in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. He died six days
later on the 13th. His probably killer, Orlando Anderson, was shot
dead at a Los Angeles car wash in 1998.
September 8, 1979: Actress
Jean Seberg was discovered dead
in her car in Paris, France. She is best known for her starring roles
in Breathless, Lilith, and Saint Joan.
September 12, 1998: CNN
correspondent John Holliman (49),
one of the boys of Baghdad who reported on the Gulf War, was killed
in a head-on collision with a pickup truck near his home in suburban
Atlanta, Georgia. He was attempting to pass another car in a
no-passing zone when the collision occurred. The driver and passenger
in the truck were both hurt but lived. Some people believe his death
was no accident: http://www.devvy.com/holliman_20010310.html.
September 13, 1928: Italian
novelist Italo Svevo died a few
days after a car accident at Motta di Livenza. He died from the shock
of the accident combined with a heart condition he had suffered for many years.
September 14, 1982: Princess Grace Kelly (52) of Monaco died
in an automobile crash. Kelly was a famous actress before marrying the prince.
September 14, 1982: American
poet, critic, and novelist John
Gardner (49) died in a motorcycle crash near Susquehanna, Pennsylvania.
September 14, 1984: Actress
Janet Gaynor (77) died in a traffic accident.
September 14, 1995: Country
drummer Narvel “Bubba” Felts Jr.
(31) was killed in an automobile accident.
September 15, 1927: Modern
dancer Isadora Duncan was
strangled and killed when her scarf caught in the wheel of car she
was riding in. The accident occurred in France.
September 16, 1977: Marc Bolan (29), lead singer for T-Rex and host
of an afternoon TV talk show, was killed in a car accident in London, England.
September 19, 1984: Dancer and
actress June Preisser (61) died
in an automobile accident.
September 19, 1997: Christian musician
Rich Mullins (41) died in a car accident. He
was best known for such hits as “Awesome God” and “Sometimes by Step.”
September 20, 1970: USAC
sprint car driver Jimmy Smith
(38) was killed in a racing accident.
September 20, 1989: Famous kidnapped
victim Steven Stayner died in a motorcycle
accident ten years after being freed from a seven-year captivity.
September 23, 2000: Former
Detroit Tigers third baseman Aurelio
Rodriguez (52) died after being hit by a car that jumped a
sidewalk on the southwest side of Detroit, Michigan. A woman
companion and another pedestrian were also hit and were hospitalized
in critical condition.
September 24, 1996: Actor
Mark Frankel (34) died in a motorcycle
accident. He had starred as Simon Bolt on the Sisters TV series.
September 24, 2004: Actor
Tim Choate (50) died in a motorcycle
accident. He appeared in various episodes of Babylon 5 and Crusade.
September 25, 1937: Blues
singer Bessie Smith (43) died
from injuries sustained in a car crash when a white hospital refused
to tend to her.
September 26, 2001: Eight
University of Wyoming track and
cross-country runners were killed when a drunken student
lost control of his pickup and veered into the oncoming lane of U.S.
287 south of Laramie. His pickup slammed headon into the sports
utility vehicle carrying the runners.
September 27, 1973: James Stacy, star of Lancer TV
series, was struck by a drunk driver while he and his girlfriend were
motorbike riding. The crash took the life of Stacy's girlfriend and
severed his left arm and leg.
September 27, 1986: Metallica
bass player Cliff Burton (24) was
killed when the band's tour bus flipped over on an icy road in Sweden.
September 27, 2004: Harvard professor and
UFO expert John E. Mack (75) was killed in
England when he was struck by a car. Mack published two books about UFO
abduction, Abduction and Passport to the Cosmos. He won a Pulitzer
Prize for A Prince of Disorder, a biography of T.E. Lawrence.
September 29, 2003: As he was
driving 80 mph on a narrow two-lane road, Atlanta Thrashers hockey
star Dany Heatley (22) lost
control of his Ferrari, spun off the road, and crashed into a brick
and iron fence. The car split in half, throwing Heatley and his
passenger Thrashers forward Dan
Snyder (25) into the road. Snyder died six days later on
October 5th from massive brain injuries sustained in the accident. He
never regain consciousness. Heatley underwent surgery for a broken
jaw as well as torn ligaments in his right knee. Those injuries, as
well as a charge of vehicular homicide, would keep him off the ice
for the season.
September 30, 1955: Actor and
cultural icon James Dean died of
a broken neck when his Porsche Spyder hit a Ford car trying to make a
left turn on a California highway. The driver of the Ford had only
minor injuries and Dean's passenger, mechanic Rolf Wutherich, was
thrown clear of the car.
October 1, 1960: Race car
driver Jim Packard (29) was
killed when his car flipped during a qualifying run for a midget race
at Fairfield, Illinois.
October 3, 1933: Heavyweight
boxer W.L. Stribling (28) was
killed in a motorcycle accident. He was second in all-time knockouts
with 126 (surpassed only by Archie Moore).
October 3, 1976: Sprint car
driver Ronald “Doc” Dawson died
while racing at the Springfield, Illinois fairgrounds.
October 3, 1979: Model and actress
Claudia Jennings, aka Mary Eileen Chesterton
(29), died when she fell asleep while driving on Pacific Coast Highway, crossed
the center line, and was hit by a van. Known as the Queen of the Drive-In for
such classics as Gator Bait and Truck Stop Women, she also starred
in a number of mainstream movies and TV shows.
October 5, 1996:
Seymour Cray (71), father of supercomputing and founder of Cray
Research, died of a car accident.
October 9, 1976: Pittsburgh
Pirates baseball pitcher Robert Moose
Jr. (29) died in an automobile accident on his 29th birthday.
October 11, 2008: Austrian politician
Joerg Haider (58) died in a car accident.
October 12, 1940: Silent movie
star Tom Mix died in an
automobile accident while driving between Tucson and Florence,
Arizona. His 1937 Cord plunged into a gully after he ignored warnings
about a bridge being out due to road work. A suitcase from the back
seat crushed his head as the car plunged into the gully. The gully
has since been renamed as Tom Mix Wash.
October 12, 2007: Florida football
defensive back Michael Guilford (19) died in
a motorcycle accident.
October 12, 2011:
Joel "Taz" DiGregorio (67), keyboardist for the Charles Daniel
Band, was killed in a car accident. He co-wrote the song "The Devil Went Down to
October 14, 2000: NASCAR truck
driver Tony Roper (35) died from
injuries received when he crashed during a race the night before at
Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Racing between two other
trucks, Roper was knocked sideways and crashed head-on into the concrete wall.
October 14, 2000: Drag racer
Wayne Bailey (47) died from
injuries sustained in a qualifying race the night before at the IHRA
World Finals at Red River Raceway in Gilliam, Louisiana.
October 16, 2011: Race car driver and
2-time Indy 500 champion Dan Wheldon (33) died in a fiery crash during the
IndyCar world Championships at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He was driving one
of 15 cards involved in massive crash between turns 1 and 2 or lap 11. His car
flew high into the fence before landing upside down on the edge of the wall.
Wheldon's helmet hit the wall, causing an unsurvivable head injury.
October 18, 2005: South African reggae
legend Lucky Dube (43) was shot in an
attempted carjacking in Rosettenville in Johannesburg, while dropping off two of
his children at their uncle's house.
October 19, 2002:
Michelle Parma (27), a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and a
cast member of MTV's Road Rules television show, was killed in a car accident.
October 21, 1913: Pioneering
English auto racer Percy Lambert
died while attempting to set new racing records at the Brooklands
Motor Racing Track in England.
October 22, 1926: Middleweight
boxing champ Harry Greb (30),
known as The Human Windmill, died on the operating table during
surgery to repair a fractured nose sustained during an automobile accident.
October 24, 1975: Turkish
ambassador Ismail Erez was killed
by a car bomb in Paris, France.
October 24, 1983: NBC News correspondent
and anchorwoman Jessica Savitch (36) drowned
when the car she was riding in went into a canal and flipped over making it
impossible for her to escape.
October 25, 2000: Chadwick Shawn Hess (30), the pilot for
the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team, was killed in a collision. While
driving his sports car at a high speed, he hit an embankment, his car
rolled, and he was thrown from the car.
October 26, 2012:
Natina Reed (32), actress and member of the R&B group Blaque, was
killed after being struck by a car in Atlanta, Georgia.
October 28, 1941: Jazz
saxophonist Leon “Chu” Berry (33)
was mortally injured while riding in an automobile taking members of
the Cab Calloway Band to an engagement in Toronto, Canada. Berry died
three days later on October 31st. In 1937 and 1938, he had been named
by Metronome magazine to the All-Star Bands for those years.
October 28, 1997: Screenwriter
Paul Jerrico (82) was killed in a car
accident. In the 1950s, he was blacklisted by the McCarthyites. He was the
producer of the award-winning movie Salt of the Earth.
October 29, 1971: Rock star
Duane Allman (24) of the Allman
Brothers was killed in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia.
October 30, 1985:
Kirby Grant (73), actor who starred in the Sky King TV series,
died in a car accident.
October 30, 2000: Entertainer,
author, and comedian Steve Allen
(78) was driving to Encino, California to see his son Bill when his
car was struck by a sports utility vehicle backing out of a driveway.
The impact of the hit ruptured a blood vessel in Allen's chest,
allowing blood to leak into the sac surrounding his heart. He died
later that evening. Allen was the creator and first host of the Tonight Show,
was a prolific songwriter, and was married to actress Jayne Meadows.
October 31, 1999: Canadian
Greg Moore (24), a CART race car
driver, died in a crash during the Marlboro 500 in Fontana,
California. He lost control of his Reynard-Mercedes coming off a
turn, skidded onto the infield grass, went airborne, and crashed into a retaining wall.
October 31, 2005: Comic author
Richard Carriere (32) was killed when a truck struck him while he was bicycling
in Toronto, Ontario. The majority of Carriere's comics output was mini-comics
and contributions to small press anthologies.
November 3, 1999: Scottish
actor Ian Bannen (71), who played
an Irish con artist in Waking Ned Devine, died when his car
overturned near Loch Ness in Scotland. The female driver of the car
was injured in the accident, but survived.
November 5, 1960: Country and
western singer Johnny Horton (35) died
in a head-on collision with a drunken driver on a bridge near Milano, Texas. He was best
known for his hits, “The Battle of New Orleans” and “North to Alaska.” His
guitarist Tommy Tomlinson also died in the
November 7, 1992: Leader of
Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring, Alexander
Dubçek (70), was killed in a car crash.
November 7, 1999: The wife of
Indianapolis Colts rookie Steve Muhammad, Nichole Muhammad died three days after
driving her car into a telephone pole. Injuries from the car accident
forced her into premature labor. Her baby was stillborn and Nichole
bled to death after the delivery. Steve was a backup special teams
player for the football Colts.
November 9, 2000: Jamie Hemingway (29), coach of the Park
University women's soccer team of Parkville, Missouri, and two
players (Melanie Meyer, 18, and
Cynthia Anderson, 18) were killed
in a head-on collision with a pickup truck while traveling to a
November 9, 2002: Actor and rapper
Merlin Santana (26), was shot six times and
killed when he was sitting in a parked car in south Los Angeles. He was best
known for his role as the admirer of Keshia Knight Pulliam in The Cosby Show.
November 10, 1985: Per-Erik “Pelle” Lindbergh (26), goaltender for the Philadelphia Flyers and winner of the Vezina
Trophy as the best goalie in the NHL in the 1984-85 regular season, died from
injuries sustained in a single-car crash when his Porsche hit a wall in the
early morning hours. Injured as a result of the alcohol-induced accident, he did
stay alive for a few days longer on life support, but he never recovered
consciousness, dying on the 13th.
November 10, 2002: Dean Jensen (46), an editor at Hawthorne
Direct as well as a musician with many bands (The Spoonbills, Ashram,
Lockspeed, Daily Planet, The Cider, and Rosebottom), died in an automobile accident.
November 11, 1972: Berry Oakley (24), bassist for the Allman
Brothers band, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia.
The accident occurred only three blocks from the spot where Duane Allman had died in a similar accident in 1971.
November 13, 1974: Laboratory
technician, union activist, and nuclear informant Karen Silkwood (28), made famous by the movie
Silkwood, was killed in an automobile accident while
on her way to meet with a New York Times reporter and an
official with the Atomic Energy Commission. During her work as the
first female member of the union bargaining committee at Kerr-McGee
Nuclear Corporation, she had discovered evidence of spills, leaks,
and missing plutonium. Circumstances surrounding her accident were
suspicious, but an inquiry revealed no clear evidence.
November 13, 2000: Mystery
writer Charles “Chuck” Meyer was
killed in a car wreck in Giddings, Texas. Meyer also wrote books on
death and dying, raising adolescents, and the role of the modern church.
November 13, 2013: Marvin Page, casting
director of such movies as Breakfast at Tiffany's and Take the Money
and Run, died of injuries he sustained in a car crash a month earlier.
November 16, 2001: Harvard
University biologist Don Wiley
(57) died accidentally in a fall off the Hernando DeSoto Bridge in
Memphis, Tennessee. Apparently his car had hit a construction sign,
scraping his car door and knocking off a hub cap. When he got out to
inspect the damage, he lost his balance and fell into the Mississippi
River. A passing 18-wheeler might have caused a draft that knocked
him off his balance. His body wasn't discovered until December 20th
when it snagged on a tree near a hydroelectric plant in Vidalia,
Louisiana, about 300 miles south of Memphis. A professor of
biochemistry and biophysics, Wiley had won the Japan Prize for his
work on how the human immune system works.
November 16, 2010: Hollywood publicist
Ronni Chasen (64) was shot while driving her
Mercedes-Benz in Beverly Hills, California. Her car crashed into a pole. She was
pronounced dead at the nearby Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Chasen was a
publicist for producers Dick Zanuck and Irwin Winkler, composer Hans Zimmer,
actress Natalie Wood, MGM, and many movies.
November 17, 1966: The world's
first jet-vs-jet ace, Colonel James
Jabara of the U.S. Air Force, was killed when his
16-year-old daughter lost control of their Volkswagon while driving
through a construction zone. The car rolled several times. Jabara was
pronounced dead on arrival at the Delray, Florida hospital; his
daughter Carol died two days later. Jabara scored 15 air-to-air jet
victories during the Korean War.
November 19, 1998: Film
director Alan Pakula (70) was
killed while driving on the Long Island Expressway east of New York
City. He lost control of his Volvo and crashed into a fence after a
metal pipe crashed through his windshield. The pipe, which had been
lying on the highway, was kicked up by another car. Pakula was taken
to the North Shore Hospital in Plainview, New York, where he was
pronounced dead. Pakula directed films such as Klute and
All the President's Men.
November 20, 2009:
William Douglas (53), the tour bus driver for singer Miley Cyrus,
was killed when he suffered a heart attack and the bus overturned on a highway in Dinwiddie County, Virginia.
No one else was killed in the accident.
November 21, 1958: Major league baseball
great Mel Ott (49) of the New York Giants was killed in a car accident.
November 21, 1986: Movie
stuntman Dar Robinson (39), known
as the King of the Movie Daredevils for his work in Burt Reynolds
movies, was killed in a motorcycle accident.
November 21, 1988: Hall of
fame pitcher Carl Hubbell (85) of
the New York Giants was killed in an auto accident in Arizona. If you are a
former New York Giant baseball player, you might want to stay at home on this date.
November 21, 1999: Radio
newscaster Doug Doench (57), aka
Dough Anthony, was hit by a car and killed while walking near his
home in Cincinnati, Ohio.
November 22, 1963: President
John F. Kennedy was shot in the
head while riding in a motorcade through downtown Dallas, Texas.
Kennedy died at the hospital. Texas Governor John Connelley was also shot but not
killed. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the killing, but this case
has brought forth more conspiracy theories than any other in history.
November 24, 1982: In
1982, Barack Obama, Sr. (46), father of U.S.
presidential candidate Barack Obama, Jr., died in an alcohol-related accident
after driving his car off the road and crashing. A few months earlier, Obama
lost both legs in an automobile accident, and subsequently lost his job.
November 24, 2012: Boxing
legend Hector "Macho" Camacho (50) died four
days after being shot in the head while sitting in a car outside a bar in
Bayamon, Puerto Rico. A friend was also killed in what police considered a drug
November 25, 1920: French race
car driver Gaston Chevrolet (28)
was killed in a racing accident at the Beverly Hills, California Raceway.
November 25, 1990: Indy 500
auto racer Bill Vukovich III (27)
died in a sprint car racing crash at the Mesa Marin Raceway.
November 28, 1994: Anti-war activist,
co-founder of the Yippies, and one of the Chicago Seven protestors,
Jerry Rubin (56) was killed when he was hit by a car.
November 30, 2005: Director
Herbert L. Strock (87) died of heart failure
following a car accident. Strock worked on numerous creature features in the
1950s, including I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, Blood of Dracula, and
How to Make a Monster. He also worked on the television series Science
Fiction Theater, Sea Hunt, and Men Into Space.
November 30, 2013: Actor
Paul Walker (40) and
Roger Rodas (38), owner of Always Evolving sports car dealership, were killed in a
one-car accident caused by driving at high speed. Their Porsche jumped a curb
and crashed into a light pole before bursting into flames. Star of the Fast &
Furious movies, Walker was returning from a fundraiser in Valencia,
California, when the accident occurred.
December, 1997: Country singer
Amie Comeaux died in an auto accident on
I-12 near Lacombe, Louisiana
December 1, 2002: Bola Tito Anjorin Gbaja-Biamila (53),
mother of Green Bay Packer defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, was
killed in Los Angeles, California when her car went out of control,
struck a palm tree, and then caught fire.
December 3, 1967: The first
heart transplant performed by Dr. Christiaan Barnard used the heart
of a young woman who had been killed in an automobile crash.
December 4, 2002: Animator
William “Tex” Henson (78), who
created Chip 'n Dale as well as Rocky and Bullwinkle, died after
being hit by a pickup truck in suburban Dallas, Texas.
December 5, 1997:
Grammy-winning guitarist Michael
Hedges (43) was killed in a car accident.
December 6, 1924: Indiana
novelist Geneva Grace
Stratton-Porter (61), author of A Girl from Limberlost,
The Song of the Cardinal, Swamp Angel, and other young adult
novels, died from injuries she had suffered in a traffic accident
(when her limousine was hit by a trolley car in Los Angeles, California).
December 7, 1977:
Peter Goldmark (71), inventor of the 33 1/3 rpm long-playing
record and the first commercial color television system, died in a car accident.
December 8, 2006: Former San Francisco
Giants shortstop Jose Uribe (47) was killed
when his sports utility vehicle crashed about 3:00 a.m. on a highway between
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and his hometown of Juan Baron.
December 11, 1964: Character actor
Percy Kilbride (76) of the Ma and Pa Kettle
movie series, died when he was hit by a car.
December 8, 1984: Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley (24), drummer
for Hanoi Rocks, was killed in a head-on collision while riding in a
car driven by Vince Neil of Motley Crue, who had been drinking. Nine
months later, Neil was ordered to pay $2.7 million in restitution to
those injured in the drunk driving accident.
December 9, 1992:
Paula Grober, President Clinton's speech interpreter for the deaf,
died in a one-car accident. She had apparently been driving at a rather high
December 14, 2001: German-English
novelist W. G. Sebald (57) was
killed when his car swerved into oncoming traffic and hit a truck in
Norfolk, England. He might have suffered a heart attack, causing him
to swerve. His daughter Anna was also seriously injured in the
accident. He was the author of Austerlitz, The Rings of Saturn, The Emigrants, and other novels.
December 16, 2009: Cincinnati Bengals
wide receiver Chris Henry (26) died in the morning of December 17th from severe
head injuries suffered after falling out of the rear end of a truck the prior
afternoon in Charlotte, North Carolina. The accident occurred following a
domestic situation in which Henry jumped into the back of a truck being driven
by his fiancée.
December 17, 1999: Singing
cowboy star Rex Allen Sr. (76) died
at the Tucson, Arizona hospital after a friend accidentally drove
over him in his driveway. Allen had a heart attack and fell behind a
parked car. The friend didn't know Allen was there as backed out of his drive.
December 17, 1999: Former
Indianapolis 500 car builder and owner Grant
King (67), died from injuries he suffered after he
disregarded a stop sign, pulled into the path of a pickup truck,
struck a fence, and flipped over several times.
December 18, 2000: Race car driver
Stan Fox (48) was killed in an automobile
accident in New Zealand. In 1995, after nearly dying from a wreck at the
Indianapolis 500, Fox retired from racing — ironic, then, that he was killed in
an automobile accident.
December 19, 1999: British
actor Desmond Llewelyn (85), who
played gadget master Q in seventeen James Bond movies, was killed in
a head-on car crash near Firle, England.
December 21, 1940: Author
Nathanael West (37) and his wife
Eileen McKenney, the heroine of
Ruth McKenney's My Sister Eileen, were killed in a car
accident in El Centro, California.
December 21, 1945: American
general George Patton died in a
Heidelberg, Germany military hospital after being injured in a three-vehicle
accident on December 9th where he was the only person hurt. He and his chief of
staff, major general Hobart "Hap" Gay were going on a pheasant-hunting trip
outside Mannheim. Their car struck a military truck near Neckarstadt (Käfertal)
when the truck made a left turn in front of them. Patton was thrown forward and
his head struck a metal part of the partition between the front and back seats.
Gay and both drivers were uninjured. Paralyzed from the neck down, Patton died
of an embolism on December 21, 1945.
December 22, 1985: Guitarist
and singer D. Boon (27) of The
Minutemen was killed in a car accident.
December 22, 2007: Alternative newspaper
(Westword) publisher Sandra Widener
(53), her husband Democratic political consultant John
Parr, and one of their daughters died when their car skidded out of
control in snowy weather and a tractor trailer slammed into the driver's side in
December 25, 1989: Baseball
player and manager Billy Martin (61)
was killed in an automobile accident. He managed the New York Yankees,
Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, and Oakland Athletics.
December 27, 1978: Rocker
Christopher Bell (27), founder of
Big Star, was killed in a car accident.
May 1948: Race car driver
Ralph Hepburn (53) was killed in
a wreck while practicing for the 1948 Indianapolis 500 race.
1948: Sprint car driver
Johnny Shackleford was killed in
an auto race at Dayton Speedway in Dayton, Ohio.
1969: Conductor Mitchell Ayres was hit by a car while
crossing a Las Vegas, Nevada street with his wife.
1970: Australian artist
David Strachan was killed in an
auto accident in Australia.
1970: While practicing for a
Trans-Am race, driver and automotive journalist Jerry Titus was killed at Elkhart Lake,
Wisconsin when his Pontiac Firebird apparently lost its steering and
struck a bridge abutment.
Bobby Buntrock (21), who played Harold in the Hazel TV series, died
in a car accident.
1978: Australian artist
George Baldessin was killed in an
auto accident in Australia.
1978: Swedish Grand prix race
car driver Ronnie Peterson (33)
was killed in a car crash in Monza, Italy.
1986: Race car driver Henri Toivenen crashed and burned at
Corsica while driving his S4 during the Group B final season of
1990: British art critic
Peter Fuller was killed in an
automobile accident in the U.K.
1993: Heavy metal guitarist
Chris Olivas (40) of Savatage was
killed by a drunk driver.
March, 2003: Former Santa Monica College
and Utah wide receiver Demetrius Posey was killed in a car accident. Posey
was one of the wide receivers who starred alongside Steve Smith and Chad Johnson when they first arrived at
Santa Monica College.
The first transplanted human limb came from the forearm of a automobile crash victim.
The first bionic hearing aid was implanted into a man who had lost his hearing in a car crash.
Other Serious Traffic Incidents
January 1, 2000: Hockey player
Eric Lindros of the Philadelphia
Flyers, suffered a bloody nose when his Mercedes Benz jumped a curb
and came to rest in a cluster of trees around 2:30 a.m.. Lindros'
girlfriend, Jessica Lloyd, was driving at the time of the accident.
January 3, 1996: After being
alerted by his wife Pam Dawber,
actor Mark Harmon saved two
teenagers who were trapped inside a burning Jeep Cherokee in Los
Angeles, California. The Cherokee had crashed into a tree, flipped
over, and burst into flames outside the couple's home. A neighbor was
calling the Fire Department when Harmon ran out with a sledghammer
and broke the windows.
January 6, 2000: Indy Racing
League driver Sam Schmidt (35)
was seriously injured when his Treadway Racing G Force Aurora race
car spun out of control and hit the retaining wall at Walt Disney
World Speedway in Buena Vista, Florida. Because his spinal cord was
pinched between the third and fourth vertebrae, he ended up being a quadriplegic.
January 12, 1986: Singer
Luther Vandross was injured when
his Mercedes Benz went out of control and crashed on Laurel Canyon
Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. Because his passenger was
killed in the crash, Vandross was charged with vehicular
manslaughter. Pleading to a lesser charge, he was ordered to perform a benefit concert.
January 18, 1995: Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead totaled
his car when he crashed into a guardrail near Mill Valley, California. He was unhurt.
January 19, 2000: PGA golfer
Notah Begay III (27) was involved
in an aggravated drunk-driving offense in Albuquerque, New Mexico (he
registered 0.21 on a breath-analyzer test where 0.08 is legally drunk
in New Mexico and 0.16 or higher is aggravated). It was his second
drunk driving offense in five years.
January 19, 2000: Portuguese
drivers Carlos Sousa and Joao Manuel Luz were critically injured in
a four-car crash during the Dakar Rally in Libya. Six other drivers
were also injured when their cars jumped a dune at high speed and
crashed on the other side.
January 19, 2000: Canadian TV
host Jonathon Torrens, star of
CBC's Jonovision, and three passengers were injured in a
six-car pileup on Highway 101 outside Halifax, Nova Scotia. Besides
being host of the teen talk show, Torrens also appeared on CBC's drama Pit Pony.
January 24, 2004: Irma Hall (68), costar of The Ladykillers
movie, sustained multiple injuries in a car accident in Chicago, Illinois.
January 27, 2000: Lawyer
F. Lee Bailey (66), one of O. J. Simpson's
dream team, fell asleep at the wheel and hit a tree near his Palm
Beach County home in Florida. He was not injured. The previous day
he'd had dental surgery and had been up the night before.
January 28, 1958: Roy Campanella, Brooklyn Dodgers catcher,
broke two vertebrae in his neck and was paralyzed from the chest down
as a result of a car crash. He had been driving home from his Harlem
liquor store early in the morning when his car skidded on a patch of
ice and hit a telephone pole.
February 2, 1949: Golfing
great Ben Hogan was seriously
injured when a bus hit his car head-on. He recovered so well that he
went on to win the 1950 U.S. Open.
February 6, 1990: Singer
Billy Idol broke an arm and leg
when his motorcycle crashed after he ran a stop sign in Hollywood, California.
February 9, 2000: CART racing
star Dario Franchitti broke his
pelvis and left hip in a single-car accident during a practice
session on the opening day of CART spring training at Homestead-Miami
Speedway in Florida. He also suffered multiple contusions of the brain, none serious.
February 10, 1974: Music
producer Phil Spector was
severely injured in auto accident.
February 20, 2003: Former
Baywatch star David
Hasselhoff and his wife Pamela were injured in a
motorcycle accident blamed on a strung gust of wind. The two were
riding along Sepulveda Boulevard on Hasselhoff's Harley Davidson near
a freeway overpass when the wind gust caused him to lose control of
the bike. As he was trying to regain control, the motorcycle ran into
a curb, throwing the couple from the bike, with Hasselhoff flying
into a light pole and his wife landing on the soft shoulder of the
road. The actor fractured his lower back and broke several ribs. His
wife sustained a fractured left ankle and right wrist.
February 22, 2001: University
of Hawaii football coach June
Jones was suffered a skull fracture and internal injuries
when his Lincoln Town Car hit a pillar on the H-1 freeway near the Honolulu, Hawaii airport.
February 23, 2000: Late at
night (2:30 a.m.), actress Halle
Berry ran a red light while driving a rented Chevy Blazer
and crashed into another car on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood,
California. The woman of the other car broke her wrist while Berry
suffered a gash on her head that required 20 stitches. Berry was
charged with a misdemeanor for leaving the scene of an accident
(although she did report the accident when she arrived at a hospital to be treated).
February 25, 2000: Geoffrey Bodine, a NASCAR driver and
winner of the 1986 Daytona 500, was seriously injured when a
multi-car crashed occurred during the Daytona 250 NASCAR Craftsman
Truck Series race at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida.
March 18, 1982: Singer
Teddy Pendergrass severed his
spinal cord in an automobile accident and became paralyzed from the waist down.
March 20, 1990: Gloria Estefan of the Miami Sound Machine
fractured a vertebra when a tractor crashed into her tour bus near
Scranton, Pennnsylvania. Other members of the band were also injured in the incident.
March 21, 2000: Georgian
presidential candidate Dzhumber
Patiashvili was slightly hurt in the chest and arms after
sabotage caused his car to skid out of control and hit a road barrier.
March 27, 2000: Football
players David Boston and Na'il Diggs were slightly injured when
their Hummer hit a Ford Escort that was driving the wrong way on I-71
in Columbus, Ohio. The woman driver of the Escort, Danielle Carfagna,
was killed in the crash. Police were not able to determine why she
was driving the wrong way, although it was late a night and she might
have been fatigued from working two jobs.
April 10, 1996: Rob Pilatus, formerly of Milli Vanilli,
was arrested on outstanding warrants after being pulled over by Los
Angeles police for running a stop sign.
April 12, 1966: Rocker
Jan Berry of the Jan and Dean
group was severely injured when his Corvette crashed into a truck in
Los Angeles, California.
April 22, 2000: Pierce Brosnan's son Sean (15) was almost
killed in an automobile accident. Only the work of UCLA's Trauma
Center saved the lad.
April 24, 2000: While driving
a rented car, actress Gwyneth
Paltrow rear-ended a car that was stopped on a West
Hollywood street. She was later sued by the two occupants for $4,000
in car damages, $8,000 in medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering.
April 29, 2001: Supermodel
Niki Taylor suffered serious
liver damage while riding in a car driven by her friend James
Renegar, who lost control of his 1993 Nissan Maxima when he looked
down to answer his cell phone. She had been visiting friends in
Atlanta, Georgia at the time of the accident. Taylor was not moved
out of intensive care until two months later.
May 2, 1999: Actress Lois Hamilton (57), who appeared on
Three's Company and The Ropers, was involved in a
head-on collision while driving under the influence (cocaine, diet
pills, Prozac, Xanax, and other drugs). Lois broke her jaw, several
vertebrae, and her hip. Four others were injured in the crash. Later,
on December 23rd, she flew to Rio de Janeiro, locked herself in a
room at the Sheraton Hotel, swallowed a handful of pills, slipped a
plastic bag over her head, and committed suicide.
May 13, 1971: A mere four
months after becoming a mother, singer Grace
Slick of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship fame was
involved in a near-fatal drunk driving accident. After an all-night
recording session, she and Jorma Kaukonen drag-raced their cars on
the Golden Gate Bridge. Grace lost control and crashed into a
retaining wall. Miraculously, she escaped with serious
concussions but no other injuries.
May 19, 2000: Green Bay
Packers guard Marco Rivera was
arrested after being clocked at 95 mph in a 45 mph zone. Tests showed
Rivera's blood-alcohol level was 0.19 percent, nearly twice the legal limit to drive.
June 13, 1997: Just six days
after winning the Stanley Cup, Detroit Red Wings defensemen
Viacheslav “Slava” Fetisov, and trainer Sergei
Mnatsakanov were injured when a limousine they were passengers in
collided with a tree. While Fetisov quickly recovered from his
injuries, Konstantinov — a Norris Trophy nominee as the league best
defenseman — and Mnatsakanov suffered severe brain damage and have
been confined to wheelchairs ever since. The driver of the limousine,
who escaped serious injury, had been driving under the influence of
alcohol at the time of the crash.
June 14, 1961: Country singer
Patsy Cline was seriously injured
in an automobile accident near Madison, Tennessee.
June 19, 1999: Horror novelist
Stephen King was struck by a
Dodge Caravan minivan while walking along the shoulder of Route 5
outside North Lovell in western Maine. The driver of the minivan had
been distracted by his dog when he swerved off the road and hit King,
who sustained serious injuries that kept him hospitalized for several
months. King had multiple fractures in his right leg and hip, a
collapsed lung, broken ribs, and a scalp laceration. After six
operations in 2 1/2 months, he would require at least a year of
physical therapy before he could walk at 85% of his old strength.
June 22, 1992: Three members
of rap star Hammer's entourage
were wounded in a drive-by shooting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. No
one was seriously hurt.
June 25, 1997: Singer Bob Seger was charged with drunken driving
after he hit a tree and wrecked his BMW near a town on Lake Superior in Ontario, Canada.
June 25, 2000: John Brophy (66), former coach of the NHL
Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, broke his leg when he lost control
of his car while driving near New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. The accident
occurred about an hour before sunrise.
June 28, 1993: Singer Wilson Pickett pled guilty to driving
while drunk in New Jersey. In that episode, he hit a pedestrian and
served a one-year sentence for the infraction.
June 29, 1978: Rocker Peter Frampton was seriously injured in a
car accident in the Bahamas.
July 3, 1986: Singer Teddy Pendergrass, who had been paralyzed
from the waist down as the result of a 1982 auto accident, was
injured again when his handicapped-equipped van crashed into a
utility pole in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
July 5, 1994: Public Enemy's
Flavor Flav was arrested in New
York following a minor traffic accident. Police discovered he was
driving on a license that had been suspended 43 times.
July 6, 1992: During a visit
to Kurdish settlements in northern Iraq, a bomb exploded near a car
carrying French President Mitterrand's
wife. While Mrs. Mitterrand was unhurt, two other people were killed.
July 6, 2001: Former Minnesota
Viking football defensive end Jim
Marshall broke a vertebra and some ribs in an automobile accident in Minnesota.
July 7, 1999: Actor Jack Nicholson got into a fender-bender
that injured one of his passengers. The accident occurred near his
home on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, California.
July 7, 2001: Sixteen people
were injured when celebrity publicist Lizzie
Grubman (30) backed her Mercedes-Benz sport utility
vehicle into a crowd waiting outside the Conscience Point Inn club.
She was charged with multiple counts of assault, reckless
endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident involving serious injury.
July 9, 2000: Tennis
professional Andre Agassi was
rear-ended as he drove home in Las Vegas, Nevada. The injury left him
unable to raise his right arm, so he had to withdraw from the Davis Cup competition.
July 11, 2000: Comedian and
actor Jimmy J J Walker (53)
swerved into the path of another car, causing two people in that car to be injured and hospitalized.
July 13, 1997: Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili
Peppers, shattered his wrist when his motorcycle was hit by a car in Los Angeles, California.
July 15, 1998: Aerosmith
drummer Joey Kramer narrowly
escaped serious injury as his Ferrari convertible was destroyed when
a leak in the gas tank hose caused the fuel to ignite at a gas
station near his Scituate, Massachusetts home. Kramer suffered minor
burns on his hands, arms, and one leg.
July 18, 2001: Minnesota
Vikings tight end John Davis
suffered facial lacerations when he swerved to avoid hitting a deer
near his home in Tampa, Florida, and hit a median wall.
July 28, 1996: NASCAR driver
Dale Earnhardt broke his
collarbone and sternum when his car flipped and crashed at the
Talladega race track in Alabama.
July 29, 1966: Bob Dylan was severely injured in a
motorcycle accident near his home in Woodstock, New York.
August 4, 1975: Robert Plant, lead singer of the Led
Zeppelin rock band and his wife Maureen were involved in a serious
car accident on the Greek Island of Rhodes. His wife Maureen was
hospitalized for several weeks and Robert suffered a smashed ankle
and elbow which took almost two years to fully heal.
August 5, 1987: While
Matthew Broderick was vacationing in
Northern Ireland with his then-girlfriend Jennifer Grey,
he steered his rented BMW into the opposite lane and it collided head-on with an
oncoming car. Margaret Doherty, 63, and her daughter Anna Gallagher, 30, were
killed. Doherty's son Martin Doherty was crippled. Broderick and Grey were
slightly injured. Broderick spent a month in a Belfast, Northern Ireland
hospital after the crash with a fractured leg and ribs and a collapsed lung. He
was initially charged with causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a
prison sentence, but he was eventually found guilty of careless driving and fined $175.00.
August 6, 1973: Singer
Stevie Wonder was almost killed
when he was hit by a log that smashed through the windshield of the
car he was riding in. His cousin, who was driving the car on a back
road in South Carolina, swerved around a logging truck to pass it but
instead hit the truck and dislodged the log that hit Wonder. With a
broken skull and severe brain contusion, Wonder was comatose for
almost a day but eventually made a full recovery, except for losing his sense of smell.
August 17, 1996: Singer
Bobby Brown was involved in a
one-car traffic accident in Hollywood, Florida. Later in December,
police charged him with driving while under the influence of alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana.
August 28, 1988: Charlie Daniels and several band members
escaped without injury when their motor home burst into flames on the
Ventura Highway in California.
August 28, 1994: James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, was
ticketed for hitting a bicyclist while driving in his hometown of
Augusta, Georgia. The bicyclist was unhurt.
August 30, 1994: Rapper
Dr. Dre (Andre Young) was
sentenced to eight months in jail after he pleaded no contest to
drunk driving charges resulting from a high-speed chase through
Beverly Hills, California earlier in January.
September 5, 1976: Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd was
seriously injured in a car accident in Jacksonville, Florida.
September 10, 2000: Joan Kennedy (64), the former wife of
Senator Edward Kennedy and a self-described recovering alcoholic, was
charged with drunk driving on Cape Cod.
September 11, 1984: Country
singer Barbara Mandrell was badly injured in a car accident.
September 11, 2000: New York
Yankees suspended outfielder Darryl
Strawberry was arrested and jailed on charges of reckless
driving and leaving the scene of an accident. His sports utility
vehicle hit a street sign and a car while weaving through traffic
near downtown Tampa, Florida. No one was injured.
September 13, 2000: Former
Argentine soccer star Diego
Maradona survived a dramatic car crash as he drove his
jeep head on into an oncoming tourist bus on a darkened Cuban highway.
He denied that he had been drunk or drugged prior to the accident.
September 16, 1998: Artis
Ivey, aka rapper Coolio, was
arrested in Lawndale, California for driving on the wrong side of the
street. Officers allegedly discovered a gun, ammunition, and a small
bag of marijuana in his car.
October 7, 1985: Singer
Little Richard fell asleep at the
wheel and ran into a telephone pole in West Hollywood, California. He
was seriously injured but recovered.
October 14, 1993: A car
carrying rock star Michael
Jackson and others in his entourage hit two teenagers in
Sao Paulo, Brazil. Both teenagers were injured. Jackson offered to
pay their medical expenses but was later sued by one of the teenagers
for reneging on his offer.
October 18, 1999: Atlanta
Braves relief pitcher John Rocker
was driving with his father when another car swerved in front of his.
When he tried to avoid the car, he lost control of his Chevrolet
Corvette and slammed into the wheels of a tractor-trailer in the next
lane. While his car was totaled, neither he nor his father were
seriously hurt. In fact, Rocker pitched two innings in relief in the
next day's playoff game against the New York Mets.
October 27, 1999: Derrick Coleman, a power forward for the
Charlotte Hornets, was arrested for driving under the influence after
his Range Rover collided with a tractor-trailer. Coleman, Hornets
backup guard Eldridge Recasner, and a third passenger were injured in the accident.
November 11, 1995: Jay Black, lead singer for Jay and the
Americans, was injured when his limousine skidded on icy pavement
into a guard rail in Cleveland, Ohio.
November 12, 1990: Ron Wood, guitarist for the Rolling
Stones, broke both his legs in a car accident in Swindon, England.
His wife and two children also were slightly injured.
November 13, 1999: Producers
Scott Mauro and his wife Harriet were struck by a car. He suffered
two broken legs while she had severe multiple injuries. Both recovered.
December 3, 1999: Actor
Jason Priestley (30) totaled his
Porsche when he ran into a utility pole while trying to avoid a deer
in the Hollywood Hills. He was not hurt.
December 7, 1999: Wide
receiver Isaac Bruce of the St.
Louis Rams escaped uninjured from a crash at 70 miles per hour. He
was driving his Mercedes along the freeway at 70 mph when a back tire
blew out. He put on the brake, but the car went into a spin and then
rolled over twice before landing right side up. Although his car
suffered $24,000 in damages, Bruce walked away without a scratch
(even though he wasn't wearing his seatbelt) and his girlfriend
Glegzette Sharp suffered only a small cut on her forehead. He said
his escape from injury was due to Jesus, whose name he yelled out when the tire blew out.
December 9, 1990: Singer and
dancer Paula Abdul was slightly
injured in a car accident in Los Angeles, California.
December 23, 1999: A new BMW
belonging to Russian world figure skating champion Maria Butyrskaya was blown up in Moscow,
Russia. It was probably related to a series of threats made against
prominent sports figures in Russia.
December 31, 1984: Drummer
Rick Allen of Def Leppard lost
his left arm in a car accident in England on New Year's Eve.
December 31, 2002: Singer
Diana Ross (58) was pulled over
at 12:30 a.m. by police responding to a report that her vehicle had
been swerving. She was arrested for driving under the influence.
1925: Artist Frida Kahlo was pierced in her stomach and
pelvis by a pole during a bus crash. The injuries from that crash
added to the problems resulting from her childhood polio to cause her
life-long suffering. She had to endure 32 surgical operations,
mechanical stretching systems, and corsets of every kind.
197?: Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in
the Star War movies was involved in a car accident where he
had to undergo reconstructive plastic surgery on his face. This took place in the mid-to-late 70's.
1999: Australian art critic
Robert Hughes was injured in a car crash in western Australia.
Celebrate Today | Special Events Data File |
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Open Horizons, P.O. Box 2887, Taos NM 87571; 575-751-3398
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