Top 10 Celebrities Killed in Car Accidents

Script written by Aaron Cameron. Accidents happen every day – even to famous people. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 celebrities killed in car accidents. For this list, we will only be looking at actors, musicians, athletes and other celebrities who met their ends by way of an automobile accident. We’re excluding race car drivers and other driving professionals, as they deserve their own list. These tragic deaths changed the celebrity world and took away some of our favorite stars. Special thanks to our users Caneathia Watkins and zendaddy621 for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Aaron Cameron.

Top 10 Celebrities Killed in Car Accidents


Accidents happen every day – even to famous people. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 celebrities killed in car accidents.

For this list, we will only be looking at actors, musicians, athletes and other celebrities who met their ends by way of an automobile accident. We’re excluding race car drivers and other driving professionals, as they deserve their own list.

#10: Ryan Dunn

He was known as one of the gutsiest members of the “Jackass” crew, who would jump at the chance to take on the most extreme stunts. After so many death-defying tricks, maybe he thought he was invincible. But, early on June 20th, 2011, he proved he wasn’t when he crashed his Porsche 911 into a tree in Pennsylvania, killing himself and his passenger. If the Twitter pics he’d posted earlier in the night weren’t evidence enough, toxicology reports later revealed that Dunn’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit, and his speed at the time of the collision was between 132-140mph. His friends and fans mourned the fallen stuntman as their “Random Hero.”

#9: Cliff Burton

As the bassist for the hottest band in thrash metal, Cliff Burton’s death in 1986 could have also meant the death of Metallica. While touring Sweden for their Master of Puppets album, the band was unhappy with their sleeping arrangements, so Burton and guitarist Kirk Hammett played cards to see who’d get the prime bunk. Burton won, and was asleep there when the bus went off the road and flipped, throwing Burton from the vehicle and pinning him underneath it. While singer James Hetfield originally accused the driver of being drunk, he was found not at fault for the crash, claiming he’d skidded on black ice.

#8: Paul Walker

Best known for his role in the octane and nitro-fuelled “Fast and Furious” film series, death unfortunately imitated art for Paul Walker in 2013. As a passenger in racer friend Roger Rodas’ Carrera GT, Walker was killed when the Porsche struck a cement light pole and trees and burst into flames. With drugs, alcohol and mechanical issues ruled out, investigators determined that speed alone was the cause for the accident, with speeds of up to 93mph in a 45mph zone being quoted. Walker was in the middle of filming “Furious 7,” which was later completed with his family’s blessing.

#7: George S. Patton

As a highly decorated veteran of two world wars, General George S. Patton was likely to either go out in a blaze of hellfire or peacefully at his home. However, the folk icon – known for his fiery, profanity laced speeches – instead died when the Cadillac he was riding in had a low-speed collision with a supply truck on December 8th, 1945. While the other occupants of the car were relatively unharmed, Patton struck his head, snapping his neck in the process. Paralyzed from the neck down, the General died in his sleep two weeks later of heart failure, sparking cries of conspiracy due to the bizarre nature of this war hero’s demise.

#6: Jayne Mansfield

Celebrated for her obvious sex appeal, Jayne Mansfield died when the car she was traveling in crashed into and drove under a tractor trailer in June 1967. Mansfield, three of her children, her boyfriend and their driver were travelling to New Orleans when the truck in front of them slowed down suddenly, killing all three adults and causing minor injuries to the kids. Contrary to persistent rumors about the crash, Mansfield was not in fact decapitated during the accident; however, the event did change vehicle safety for the better, resulting in the addition of an underride guard – otherwise known as the Mansfield bar – added underneath all trailers.

#5: Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes

The life of Lisa Lopes was not an easy one, but things were looking up prior to her 2002 death. In Honduras with her family for a spiritual retreat, the TLC singer had been involved in a crash two weeks previous to her own death, which resulted in the accidental death of a 10-year-old boy. That left Lopes shaken, thinking it should have been her instead. That’s why it was so eerie when she was killed shortly thereafter. She swerved to avoid a car, rolling the Mitsubishi she was driving and causing herself and the three other occupants to be thrown from the vehicle. Only Lopes was killed.

#4: Jackson Pollock

Famous for his abstract artwork, Jackson Pollock was also known for his issues with alcohol. Driving with his mistress Ruth Kligman and friend Edith Metzger on August 11th, 1956, Pollock – who had been drinking – began falling asleep at the wheel. When Metzger begged the painter to stop the car, Pollock became annoyed and stepped on the gas of his Oldsmobile 88. Soon after, the artist failed to navigate a series of turns and struck a tree, which resulted in him being thrown 50-feet into a tree and killed. Metzger was also killed, but Kligman survived the accident and lived into her 80s.

#3: Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly truly lived a Hollywood life, but it had a less-than-happy ending. Princess Grace and her daughter, Princess Stephanie, were driving to the family’s city home from their country place in September 1982 when Grace suffered a stroke. When Kelly lost control of the car, her daughter attempted to stop it but was unable to prevent it from driving off a steep embankment. Neither princess was wearing a seatbelt and both were flung about the car. Stephanie survived but Princess Grace sustained heavy internal bleeding and later died in hospital, prompting a huge funeral where the elite from around the world paid tribute to a fallen princess.

#2: James Dean

Known as the actor of his generation, James Dean was also a passionate car racer. When the rebel without complacency ordered a new Lotus Mark IX in 1955, shipment was delayed so he decided to upgrade his current Porsche to the much faster Porsche 550 Spyder. Excited to be behind the wheel in an upcoming race, Dean was advised by his mechanic to drive the Porsche to the event to break it in and gain experience with it. Normally, Dean would’ve towed it and this proved to be a fatal decision when Dean was killed en route to the race when he had a head-on collision with another vehicle while reportedly traveling at 85mph.

Before we unveil our top pick here are a few honorable mentions.

- Tim Horton

- Eddie Cochran

- Sam Kinison

- Billy Martin

- Marc Bolan

#1: Lady Diana Spencer

Riddled with controversy and a changer of royal protocol, few single deaths in the ‘90s carried as much impact as that of Lady Di. While the accident that caused Diana’s death was originally blamed on a relentless swarm of paparazzi that was pursuing her through the streets of Paris in August 1997, investigators later determined it was the drunkenness of her driver, Henri Paul, which resulted in the crash of the Mercedes she and her partner Dodi Fayed were in. Although both Paul and Fayed were killed in the crash, Diana initial survived the impact but died soon after from shock, cardiac arrest, and internal injuries, prompting a huge outpouring of grief from across the globe.

Do you agree with our list? Which celebrity car crash impacted you the most? For more Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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