Car accidents are tragic to everyone involved. Since the invention of the automobile, millions of individuals have been either severely injured or killed, including celebrities. Many of these accidents were the result of driver mistakes, distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, severe road conditions, speeding and more. The news takes notice when celebrities are injured or killed in car accidents, calling attention to how we all live vulnerable lives that could change instantly.
Famous individuals are not protected against tragic events that tend to affect each one of us the same way. The ten celebrities listed below were all severely injured or lost their lives in vehicle accidents.
Born: September 12, 1973 (Glendale, California)
Died: November 30, 2013 (Valencia, Santa Clarita, California)
The Fast and Furious franchise actor died at 40 years of age in a horrific single-car accident while riding as a passenger in a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT driven by his friend Roger Rodas. Walker and 38-year-old Rodas crashed into two trees and can the concrete light pole after leaving a charity event. The investigation showed that the car was speeding in a 45 mile-per-hour speed zone at the time of the accident and estimated that Rodas was traveling at approximately 80 mph to 93 mph. An autopsy revealed Walker died from burns and trauma with broken bones to the pelvis, ribs, arm, and jaw. Walker’s friend Roger died of multiple trauma injuries. First responders removed the bodies of Walker and Rodas that were burned beyond recognition. Medical examiners identify the bodies through dental records. Blood tests revealed that neither man had drugs or alcohol in their bodies when the accident occurred. Investigators said that no road conditions or mechanical failure caused the accident nor was there any evidence that the two were drag racing. However, the vehicle’s older tires were thought to be a primary factor for causing the collision.
In 2017, Paul Walker’s then 18-year-old daughter Meadow settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Porsche after previously settling a lawsuit against Roger Rodas’ estate for approximately $7.2 million that included $2.9 million to pay Meadow’s legal fees. Lawsuit documents reveal that Meadow alleged that her father survived the accident but died from his injuries because he was unable to release the sports car’s seat belt before it caught fire. Her attorneys alleged that the vehicle within the 605 hp engine is marketed to the public as a race car capable of traveling 205 mph was never designed to provide the occupant’s protection in an accident, claiming that the vehicle can reach. The details of the settlor lawsuit remain confidential. The actor’s father also agreed to settle with Porsche. Attorneys working on behalf of Porsche argued that Walker was a “willing passenger” who was legally responsible for his death.
The crash was recorded on surveillance cameras on the morning of Saturday, November 30, 2013, during daylight hours. While images of the vehicle crashing were not revealed in the recording, the viewer can see the trees and lamp posts fall behind a tall row of hedges approximately one minute before the first signs of black smoke appeared to rise from the accident site.
Born: November 10, 1968 (The Bronx, New York City, New York)
The National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) concluded an investigation stating that a sleep-deprived Walmart tractor-trailer trucker caused the collision with the limousine bus on the New Jersey Turnpike on June 7, 2014, that claimed the life of comedian James McNair and seriously injured Tracy Morgan, a well-known actor on “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live.” Comedians Harris Stanton and Ardie Fuqua also severe injuries in the crash. The impact of the collision caused a chain reaction of six vehicles. The board stated that the limo passengers, including Morgan, were not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash and had adjusted the headrests, which might have increased the severity of their injuries including Morgan’s traumatic brain injuries. The collision left the actor hospitalized with a coma for two weeks and bedridden for months.
The NTSB stated that the June 2014 accident was the result of the driver being awake for more than 28 hours before colliding into the back of the bus limousine. Investigators stated that the semi-truck crashed into the limo while traveling 20 mph more than the posted speed limit. Walmart agreed to a negotiated out-of-court settlement with McNair’s family and Tracy Morgan in separate lawsuits. More than two years later in November 2016, the Walmart driver Kevin Roper pled guilty to vehicular homicide and aggravated assault to avoid a prison sentence.
Born: August 25, 1981 (Los Angeles, California)
In 1997, American actress Rachel Bilson was involved in a head-on crash with a truck at age 16 on the Pacific Coast Hwy. in Los Angeles when traveling with friends. The driver and passengers in Rachel’s car had to be cut out of the vehicle. The collision left one passenger hospitalized and Rachel unconscious after blacking out during the accident. Glass from the windshield cut her head open leaving her with a small scar. Ms. Bilson told You Magazine that she still has “scars under my hairline and I get headaches from time to time, and my memory is not so good.” At the time of the accident, she was traveling with her brother’s friends that were older than her when everyone inside the vehicle wound up hospitalized after being hit in a head-on collision.
Born June 8, 1977 (Atlanta Georgia)
In October 2002, Kanye West was involved in a serious vehicle accident while driving home in the early morning hours from a recording studio and falling asleep at the wheel of a rented Lexus. Kanye’s car crashed into an oncoming vehicle, breaking the other driver’s legs and leaving Kanye with a shattered jaw. Doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center wired Kanye’s mouth shut to hold his jaw in place while it heals. Two weeks later, he wrote “Through the Wire” a hit single in 2003.
Born: June 3, 1991 (Samana, Dominican Republic)
Died: January 22, 2017 (Juan Adrian, Dominican Republic)
Twenty-five-year-old Major League Baseball player for the Kansas City Royals, Yordano Ventura Hernandez died in a car crash in Juan Adrian, Dominican Republic in January 2017 after losing control of his vehicle that flipped while traveling on a curved road. The 2015 World Series baseball pitcher was thrown from his Jeep Wrangler and died at the scene of the accident.
Police investigating Venter’s accident determined that speed was a primary factor in the crash when the Jeep left the roadway and tour through a guardrail on a mountainous highway. The posted speed limit was 15 mph along that stretch of highway where the accident occurred. Royal officials stated that it was likely foggy weather conditions that caused the accident and did not determine if alcohol was involved. The Dominican Republic metropolitan transportation authority Colonel Diego Pesqueira stated that “it is not a secret that it is a dangerous road. It is a road people now they should not drive after dark.” Investigators believe that Ventura drove that portion of the road between 3:00 AM and 5:00 AM on January 22, 2017. His estranged wife said that she was on the phone with him last at 4:23 AM that morning. However, he hung to look for a stronger GPS signal telling her he was lost while trying to find her house in Constanza. Investigators say that Royal’s picture died on impact after skidding across rumble strips that alert drivers and provide traction on the dangerous roadway. On the same day, in a separate accident, Andy Marte, the Arizona Diamondbacks infielder died in a vehicle crash the next day in a different location of the Dominican Republic.
Born: May 29, 1941 (The Bronx, New York, NY)
Died: February 11, 2015 (Manhattan, New York, NY)
In February 2015, Bob Simon was killed in a Lincoln Town Car limousine accident in Manhattan, New York City on the West Side Highway after suffering life-threatening injuries. Seventy-three-year-old Mr. Simon had worked as a 60 minutes correspondent for CBS as a news journalist for over four decades. The New York Post reported that the 44-year-old limousine driver Abdul Fedah had a “dead” left arm that was caused by a suicide attempt and used only one hand when driving. Police reports indicate that the driver had nine license suspensions. Investigators believe that the driver might have mistakenly hit the gas pedal and not the brake pedal before sideswiping another vehicle while traveling 55 miles an hour in a 35 mile an hour zone. The limo driver was operating the vehicle on a probationary license issued by the New York Taxing Limousine Commission because his regular license was suspended during a probe into a deadly accident. The driver also had too many violations and was cited for traveling 5 miles over the 65 mile an hour speed limit and “disobeying a traffic device” in New York City the previous month. The limo driver’s license was also suspended nine times because he failed ignored court summons and did not pay monetary fines.
The accident occurred at 6:45 PM when the vehicle crash into a barrier separating southbound and northbound lanes of the West Side Highway while Bob was having to a lecture happening in downtown Manhattan. Simon suffered from head trauma, stomach trauma, and a broken neck. Emergency medical technicians transported Simon to the Roseville Hospital while he was unconscious, with a head wound and experiencing cardiac arrest. Doctors at the hospital pronounced Simon dead approximately 35 minutes later at 7:20 PM. The other driver did not suffer injuries. The driver was transported to a different hospital with leg and arm injuries. Investigators report that Simon was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident. Early autopsy reports revealed that Simon died from blunt force trauma to the torso, head, and extremities and also suffered visceral injuries and bone fractures. Bob left behind a wife, daughter, and grandson.
Born: May 23, 1980 (Dallas Texas)
In 2007, law enforcement charged actor Lane Garrison in the death of a boy killed in a fatal car accident in December 2006. The 17-year-old victim Vanagn Setian was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and a 15-year-old suffered a shattered arm and fractured pelvis. A third passenger, a 15-year-old female, involved in the accident was not seriously injured. At the time of the accident, Garrison drove his Land Rover SUV into a tree while transporting three teenage passengers just before midnight.
Tests confirmed that cocaine was found in Lane’s system and blood test verified Garrison was driving drunk with a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit when the crash occurred. Law enforcement charged Garrison with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence that led to injury is for multiple witnesses. Garrison was also charged with a single misdemeanor count of giving alcohol to minors. He was released on $100,000 bail. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office handled the case and accepted Garrison’s guilty plea to felony vehicular manslaughter and a sentence of 40 months in prison. Seitan’s parents stated that Garrison “carried on with a conscious and willful disregard of the rights and safety of others” when he gave their son a ride.
Investigators say that Garrison consumed alcohol at a party before transporting the three passengers to a store to purchase more alcohol. While traveling back to the party, Lane drove through a red light before losing control of the vehicle while traveling 50 mph in a 25 mile an hour zone. Investigators say that the vehicle jumped the median and the curb before crashing into a tree and resting on its passenger side. The event caused the decedent to experience blunt force trauma that claimed his life.
The decedent’s parents filed a lawsuit against Garrison seeking unspecified reimbursement for damages including medical care, funeral and burial expenses, treatment, lawyer fees, and punitive damages if allowed. The plaintiff stated that their damages include “Loss of care, comfort, and society of their minor son.” One of the female passengers involved in the accident also filed a negligence suit against Garrison after she suffered severe injuries. Lane was required to undergo substance-abuse treatment while incarcerated. Garrison has played the character Tweener in the popular Fox drama Prison Break.
Born: February 11, 1979 (McComb, Mississippi)
American singer, songwriter, actor and record producer, Brandy Norwood was involved in a fatal automobile accident on December 30, 2006, while traveling on the San Diego Freeway in Los Angeles, CA that left a 38-year-old female victim dead. Norwood was not injured when driving her Range Rover after it struck a Toyota being driven by Awatef Avoudihaj who died from her injuries the next day at the Los Angeles Holy Cross Hospital. Law enforcement did not arrest or charge Norwood because of insufficient evidence but reported Brandy was driving at 65 miles an hour without realizing the cars ahead for traveling slower. During the collision, the other vehicle struck other cars before impacting the road divider and sliding sideways. After the other vehicle stopped, it was hit by another car. Toxicology reports confirm that the deceased had small traces of marijuana in her body when the accident occurred.
The LA city attorney concluded that the 27-year-old Moesha and Zoe Ever After star Brandy Norwood would not be charged with a “crime relating to the accident” that occurred on the 405 Freeway. However, numerous victims file lawsuits against Norwood before settling their cases out of court. The decedent’s parents and spouse filed separate wrongful death lawsuits against Brandy seeking $50 million. The victim’s husband rejected a $1.2 million settlement by Norwood in February 2009 but eventually settled the case later that year. Both of the decedent’s children received $300,000 each.
Born: May 24, 1982 (Greenville, South Carolina)
PGA Tour golfer Bill Haas suffered serious injuries in an accident that occurred in Pacific Palisades, California. At the time of the crash, Haas was traveling in a Ferrari as a passenger when the driver 71-year-old Mark Gibello clipped a Toyota SUV on North Chautauqua Boulevard driven by actor Luke Wilson, who was not injured and then collided with a BMW. Luke helped to extricate the 50-year-old female driver from that vehicle. After doctors released the golfer from the hospital, he withdrew from the Genesis Open in Pacific Palisades and returned home to Greenville, South Carolina. Bill’s father Jay reported that his son suffered swelling in the leg and pain but no broken bones. LA police Detective Jeff Fischer stated that “if you look at the scene, you see scrub marks. I believe there was a little bit of speed to it.”
Born: November 15, 1952 (Columbus, Ohio)
Died: May 20, 2011 (Seminole, Florida)
Randy Savage (born Randy Poffo) died in a deadly vehicle accident on May 20, 2011. The 58 years old suffered a sudden heart attack in Seminole, Florida after driving his 2009 Jeep Wrangler into a tree and losing control and becoming unresponsive. While the first reports of the incident stated that his death was the result of the collision, the Medical Examiner’s Office performed an autopsy that revealed Savage had actually died of advanced coronary artery disease (CAD) and an enlarged heart. An early blood test found traces of alcohol and prescription painkillers in his bloodstream. Randy had not received any treatment for heart issues, and the medical examiner ruled his death as atherosclerotic heart disease.
The incident occurred at approximately 9:25 AM in Pinellas County when the vehicle hit the raised median divider and crashed into a tree after crossing over the eastbound lanes. Randy’s wife Barbara suffered minor injuries. That morning, Randy said to his wife that he was not feeling well but went to Perkins Family Restaurant for breakfast. His wife offered to drive, but Randy got behind the wheel to head off to the restaurant. EMT transported Savage to the Largo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Contact Reputable Automobile Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a serious car accident, it is crucial to contact a reputable vehicle accident injury attorney immediately. The legal team at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can assist you during this challenging time to ensure you obtain adequate compensation to fully recover by filing a claim or lawsuit against every individual or party at fault for your damages. We encourage you to contact our law offices today by filling out our confidential online intake form now or calling (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free, initial case evaluation. You are not required to make any upfront payments to secure our legal services beginning today, and we will receive payment only after we have won your case at trial or negotiated an acceptable out of court settlement. We offer every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf, you will pay us nothing. Let our team of aggressive attorneys begin working on your case now.