20 icons killed in car crashes
The car crash that claimed the life of veteran CBS News correspondent Bob Simon is one in a long list of car accidents that have taken the lives of some of the most notable celebrities through the years.
From the shocking death of Princess Diana in a Paris tunnel to the fiery crash that took the life of “Fast Furious” star Paul Walker, here’s a look back at stars who died too soon:
1. Princess Diana
The world was stunned when Britain’s Princess Diana tragically died after suffering massive internal injuries in a high-speed car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997. The Princess of Wales, 36, was fleeing the paparazzi when her chauffeur crashed into a concrete pillar head-on in the Place D’Alma underpass — the driver and her boyfriend, Harrods heir Dodi Fayed, also died at the crash scene.
2. James Dean
The life of James Dean was tragically cut short when the star died in a high-speed car crash at the height of his career on Sept. 30, 1955. He was 24. The American icon was driving his new Porsche 550 Spyder to an auto rally in California when he was involved in a head-on collision with another car before dying at the scene.
3. Jayne Mansfield
Blond bombshell actress Jayne Mansfield was killed instantly when the car she was riding in struck the rear of a trailer truck on Interstate 90, east of New Orleans on June, 29, 1967. Her boyfriend Sam Brody and her driver Ronnie Harrison perished on the scene, but her three children, who were in the back seat, survived the crash. She was 34.
4. Billy Martin
Five-time New York Yankee manager Billy Martin was killed in an alcohol-related crash when the pickup truck he was a passenger in skidded off the road during an icy storm near his farm in Binghamton, N.Y., on Dec. 25, 1989. He was 61.
5. Keith (Adrian Adonis) Franke
Pro wrestler Keith Franke, better known to wrestling fans by his ring name “Adorable” Adrian Adonis died when his rented minivan hit a moose while on a wrestling tour in Newfoundland, Canada, on July 4, 1988. He was 34.
Falco, best known for his 1985 hit “Rock Me Amadeus” died after the SUV he was driving pulled out onto a highway and was hit by a bus while vacationing in the Dominican Republic. The Austrian singer suffered severe head injuries in the crash before losing his life just two weeks before his 41st birthday on Feb. 6, 1998.
7. David Halberstam
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam tragically died at age 73 in a car crash south of San Francisco on April 24, 2007. Halberstam was a passenger in a car that was hit by another car, and knocked into a third vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
8. Drazen Petrovic
NBA basketball player Drazen Petrovic tragically died in a car crash at the young age of 28, on June 7, 1993. He was a passenger in a car that was cut off by a truck on the Autobahn highway in Denkendorg, Germany. According to reports, the truck driver was trying to avoid a collision during a rain storm, when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed through the median, killing Petrovic.
9. Paul Walker
In one of the most recent tragic car crashes, “Fast and the Furious” actor Paul Walker died when the Porsche he was a passenger in smashed into a tree and exploded north of Los Angeles on Nov. 30, 2013. The 40-year-old and the car’s driver, his financial adviser Roger Rodas, both perished.
10. Jackson Pollock
Influential abstract impressionist painter Jackson Pollock died on Aug. 11, 1956 at age 44 in a car crash that occurred less than a mile from his home. He was driving under the influence of alcohol when he skidded and slid off the road before crashing into a tree. One of the passengers, Edith Metzger, was also killed in the accident, while his mistress Ruth Kligman, survived.
11. Herb Brooks
Renowned ice hockey player and coach Herb Brooks died in a single-car crash on Aug. 11, 2003 near Forest Lake, Minn. It is believed that the 66-year-old sports icon fell asleep behind the wheel.
12. Grace Kelly
In a shockingly tragic death, Hollywood golden girl turned Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly died in a car accident on Sept. 14, 1982 at 52 years old. Princess Grace was driving on a local road with her daughter Princess Caroline, when their car plunged off a cliff. There was speculation as to who was driving the car, but it was ultimately decided that Princess Grace was behind the wheel, and that she may have suffered a stroke, causing the car to go off the road.
13. Linda Lovelace
Linda Lovelace’s troubled life as an adult film icon ended in an equally tragic way when she died of injuries sustained in a car crash. On April 22, 2002, the “Deep Throat” star was taken off a life support machine and died in Denver, Colo., at the age of 53.
14. Sam Kinison
Comedian Sam Kinison’s life was sadly cut short when his car was struck head-on by a truck, whose 17-year-old driver was under the influence of alcohol. Kinison was on his way to perform a sold-out show in Nevada when the truck drifted into his lane on April 10, 1992, tragically ending his life. The comic was 38.
15. George Patton
Legendary war general George Patton was involved in a car accident on Dec. 9, 1945, while riding as a passenger in a car near Speyer, Germany. His car was cut off by a truck that hit Patton’s side of the vehicle, resulting in a broken neck and cervical spinal cord injury that rendered him paralyzed from the neck down. He underwent procedures, but eventually died in the hospital on Dec. 21, 1945 from congestive heart failure at 60 years old.
17. Harry Chapin
Harry Chapin, a 1970s folk-rock composer and performer, was killed when the car he was driving was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer on the Long Island Expressway in Jericho, N.Y., on July 16, 1981. He was 38 years old. Chapin reportedly suffered a heart attack but it is not known whether this happened before or after the accident.
18. Jack Johnson
Legendary boxer Jack Johnson died in a car crash near Raleigh, N.C., on June 10, 1946 at age 68. He was reportedly angry, and speeding away from a diner that refused to serve him.
19. Junkyard Dog
Professional wrestler Sylvester Ritter, known as “Junkyard Dog,” was considered as one of the most charismatic and electrifying wrestlers in the country before his life was tragically cut short at 45 on June 2, 1998. Ritter was involved in a single-car accident on his way back from his daughter’s high school graduation in South Carolina when he fell asleep at the wheel.
20. Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes
Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes, rapper of the multiplatinum group TLC, died in car crash while visiting Honduras on April 25, 2002. The rapper was behind the wheel when she swerved to avoid a collision with another vehicle, causing the car to veer off the road and roll several times. She was 32.
in Gossip February 12, 2015