Famous People Who Died in Car Crashes
In the United States, nearly 40,000 people lost their lives as a result of an automobile accident in 2020. Unfortunately, this number seems to increase by several thousand every year, even though today’s cars have far more safety features.
It’s not just everyday people that fall victim to car wrecks, but famous people, politicians, and even royalty are not immune from vehicle-related deaths. Even if you’re a safe driver. Accidents happen. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, contact one of our auto accident injury lawyer Bay Area for help with your case.
1. Paul Walker (September 12, 1973 – November 30, 2013)
American actor, Paul Walker, is best known for his role as Brian O’Conner in the Fast & Furious movie franchise. In November of 2013, Walker and his friend Roger Rodas left an event for Walker’s charity to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan, driving Walker’s 2005 Porsche Carrera GT.
The car crashed into a concrete lamppost and struck two trees, before catching fire. Both Rodas and Walker died from trauma and burns to their entire bodies. Investigators believe the car was traveling at high speeds between 80 to 93 miles per hour, which is thought to be the cause of the accident.
2. Princess Diana of Wales (July 1, 1961 – August 31, 1997)
She was beautiful inside and out, and someone the world was constantly watching. Sadly, it is believed that the erratic behavior of the paparazzi is ultimately to blame for Diana’s untimely death at only 36 years old. However, investigators uncovered that the driver may have been solely to blame.
In the early hours of August 31, 1997, Diana, her partner Dodi Fayed, and the driver Henri Paul, died on the scene of a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris, France. It was later discovered that Paul was under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs and lost control of the vehicle.
3. James Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955)
An American actor and cultural icon, James Dean died in an auto accident at just 24 years of age. Driving in his Porsche on a stretch of road in Cholame, California, he crashed head-on into a Ford Tudor Sedan at an intersection. His vehicle flipped several times before landing in a gully beside the road.
The cause of death listed on his death certificate is a broken neck, fractures of the upper and lower jaws, broken arms, and multiple internal injuries. Although it’s been nearly 70 years since the car accident claimed Dean’s life, he remains a symbol of teenage disillusionment and rebellion.
4. Sam Kinison (December 8, 1953 – April 10, 1992)
American comedian and actor, Sam Kinison died in April of 1992 when a 17-year-old drunk driver crossed the center lane and crashed head-on into Kinison’s Pontiac Trans Am. Although the comedian died on the scene, his wife sustained injuries but later recovered.
Although seatbelts save thousands of lives every year and it has been mandatory since 1968 that all vehicles manufactured in the United States must have them, Kinison was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident.
5. Grace Kelly (November 12, 1929 – September 14, 1982)
In the 1950s, Grace Kelly rose to stardom. She married Prince Rainier III, making her Princess of Monaco in April of 1956. In September of 1982, Kelly suffered a mild cerebral hemorrhage while driving her 1971 Rover P6 3500, causing the car crash that ended her life at 52 years of age.
Her daughter, who was also in the car at the time of the crash, suffered a concussion but survived the accident. Grace Kelly passed away at the hospital with injuries to her brain, thorax, and femur bone.