7 Fatal Celebrity Car Accidents
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7 Fatal Celebrity Car Accidents

By Richard Console on February 1, 2012

Car accidents are a tragic occurrence, and over the years thousands and thousands of people have lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents including some very famous people. There are many causes of car accidents including driver error, road conditions, distracted driving, speeding, driving while intoxicated, and more. When someone famous is killed in an accident the public, for a time, pays attention to how much of an issue motor vehicle accidents are.

The following 7 celebrities were all tragically lost in car accidents and taken all-too-soon from the world. Car accidents are never easy to handle but they are especially difficult when they result in someone’s death.

Jackson Pollock
1912-1956, 44 years old

Pollock was a legendary painter and member of the abstract expressionist movement. It is said that his painting No. 5, 1948 (above) is currently the most expensive painting ever sold. On the night of August 11, 1956 he was driving his convertible with two other passengers, Edith Metzger and his mistress Ruth Kligman. Pollock had struggled with alcoholism for a long time and on that night he was driving under the influence. While speeding down a New York road Pollock was unable to control the car and they crashed into two trees and all three passengers were thrown from the car. His mistress was the only survivor of the accident.

Princess Grace Kelly
1929-1982, 52 years old

Grace Kelly was an American actress before she married the prince of Monaco and became Princess Grace. She won a Golden Globe as well as an Academy Award, she was the leading lady in five major movies. She had three children, Caroline, Stephanie, and Albert. Although she only acted from the age of 20 to 26, she made enough of an impression on Hollywood to have been listed at number 13 on the American Film Institute’s top female stars of American cinema list. On September 14, 1982 Princess Grace was driving with her daughter Stephanie in the car when she suffered a stroke causing her to lose control of her vehicle and drove down the mountainside. While she did not die on impact she suffered serious injury and passed the following day.

Jayne Mansfield
1933-1967, 34 years old

Mansfield was one of the reveled great ‘blond-bombshell’ of the 1950s. She was often compared to Marilyn Monroe and following Monroe’s death 20th Century Fox replaced Monroe with Mansfield. In addition to starring in several major motion pictures Mansfield also was on Broadway and was a Playboy Playmate, having been pictured in the magazine several times. Mansfield embarked on a road trip to New Orleans on the night of June 28, 1967 along with her driver Ronnie Harrison, her lover Sam Brody, and her children Miklos, Zoltan, and Mariska. Shortly before 2:30 a.m. on the 29th the group rear-ended a tractor-trailer that had stopped short. The car went under the trailer killing all three adults who were riding in the front, the children were in the back seat and only suffered minor injuries.

Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
1971-2002, 30 years old

Lopes was probably best known by her stage name, Left Eye, and as one of the members of TLC. Her original raps are featured in a number of the groups’ songs including their big hits “Waterfalls” and “No Scrubs.” In 2002 Lopes went on a spiritual retreat in Honduras, which was filmed and eventually turned into the documentary “The Last Days of Left Eye.” On April 25 Lopes along with others were driving when she attempted to swerve around a truck. There was another vehicle coming towards them in the other lane so Lopes was forced to swerve off the road. The vehicle rolled a few times, ejecting Lopes and three other passengers from the car. She suffered neck injury and head trauma which resulted in her death the following day. One of the passengers was filming at the time of the accident and her final moments were included in the film.

James Dean
1931-1955, 24 years old

James Dean became an iconic film star although he only appeared in three movies in his lifetime. In all three of these roles he was the star and these films, Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden, and Giant, have immortalized him. He was the first actor to receive an Academy Award posthumously and is still the only actor to have two nominations after death. While driving to a car race, Dean collided with a college student almost head on. The accident broke his neck and he was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital.

Ryan Dunn
1977-2011, 34 years old

Best known for his involvement in the MTV shows Jackass and Viva La Bam, Dunn was a reality TV star, actor, and stunt man. He grew up with cast mate Bam Margera and that is how he became involved in CKY and eventually Jackass. On June 20, 2011 Dunn and one of his friends Zachary Hartwell (who also worked on Jackass as a production assistant) were killed when Dunn ran his car off the road in Pennsylvania and into a tree. Just hours before his death, Dunn posted photos to his Twitter that showed him and Hartwell drinking in West Chester. A toxicology report revealed that Dunn’s BAC was .196, which is more than twice the legal limit. His alcohol impairment along with speeding was said to be the contributing factors to the accident. Reports found that Dunn had been driving between 132 and 140 mph in the 55 mph zone. The location of the fatal accident had been the same place Dunn had flipped another vehicle back in 1996.

Princess Diana
1961-1997, 36 years old

Perhaps one of the most highly publicized car accidents in history was the crash in Paris, France that killed Diana, Princess of Wales. Princess Diana was beloved by the people both in her own country and around the world. A constant target of the media Diana remained “Princess of the People.” There has been much conspiracy surrounding the fatal accident as to whether it was really an accident or if it had been planned. On August 31, 1997 Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed were travelling in a car driven by Henri Paul, who was a manager at the Paris Ritz Hotel. All three died in the crash. Paul’s father who owned the Ritz was the one who insisted the accident was a planned murder and that the MI6 and The Duke of Edinburgh were behind it. The accident was investigated by police in France and later an inquest was started in 2004 and continued through 2008. It was ruled that the accident was caused by negligent driving and that paparazzi following them. Paul’s father withdrew his accusations that it was murder in 2008 explaining that he was only doing so out of respect for Princess Diana’s children. Two billion people tuned in to her funeral it is still one of the most viewed events in history.

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident the person responsible should be held accountable for their negligence. The New Jersey car accident attorneys at Console & Hollawell will fight aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (866) 778-5500 and set up your free consultation.

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