9 Celebrity Deaths That Were Linked to Drunk Driving
Posted on Jul 17, 2014 in DUI/DWI
1. Bob Clark – Bob Clark was well known as a director for movies such as A Christmas Story and Baby Geniuses. Clark was traveling along the Pacific Coast Highway in California with his son Ariel on the morning of April 4, 2007 when they were involved in a head on collision. Hector Velazquez-Nava crossed the median in his SUV killing Clark and Ariel. It was later discovered that Velazquez-Nava was three times the legal limit, driving without a license and an illegal immigrant from Mexico. Valazquez-Nava was sentenced to six years in prison and now faces deportation.
Celebrity DWI Deaths
2. Jerry Brown Jr. – Jerry Brown Jr. was an American athlete and football player. Brown had been signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad two months before the accident which ended his life. On December 8, 2012 Brown was traveling as a passenger in a car driven by fellow teammate Josh Brent. Brent was speeding on Texas State Highway 114 when the vehicle struck a curb and caused the car to flip at least one time. When police arrived, Brown was unresponsive, but was later pronounced dead. Brent faced DUI and manslaughter charges.
3. Nick Adenhart – Nick Adenhart is well known as a California Angels pitcher. One night, Adenhart and three friends were leaving a game where Adenhart was playing ball. The Mitsubishi transporting Adenhart was struck in an intersection by a mini-van. A passenger and the driver were dead on arrival and Adenhart as well as an additional passenger were taken to a hospital to be treated. Investigators noticed that the minivan’s driver had fled the scene. Adenhart passed at the hospital while the other passenger survived after undergoing surgery which reattached his skull to his spine. The minivan driver was Andrew Gallo. Gallo was arrested and charged with multiple counts of murder, hit-and-run, DUI, as well as a few other charges.
4. Paul Jackson Pollock – Jackson Pollock was an American artist best known for his work during the abstract expressionist movement. Pollock died when he was driving his convertible and was involved in a single car accident. Reports show that Pollock was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Pollock’s friend, Edith Metzger, was also killed as a result of the accident. His mistress, Ruth Kligman, was in the vehicle during the time of the accident, but she was the lone survivor.
5. Princess Diana – Princess Diana of Wales passed away after her chauffeur lost control of the vehicle transporting the princess, her boyfriend, and Diana’s bodyguard. It was originally thought that the reporters following Diana may have caused the accident, but investigations showed the driver was intoxicated. Investigators report finding anti-depressants and anti-psychotics in the body of the driver which they believe could have amplified the inebriation. The Princess, her boyfriend, and the driver were all pronounced dead on the scene while the bodyguard survived.
6. Ryan Dunn – Ryan Dunn was famous for his affiliation with the reality television show Jackass. In 2011, Dunn died in an auto accident with his Porsche 911. Dunn was more than double the legal limit when his vehicle veered off the road and struck a tree. The accident left both himself and a production assistant for Jackass Number Two dead. It was reported that speed may have contributed to the accident and investigations suggest that the car may have been traveling up to 140 miles per hour.
7. Sam Kinison – American comedian and actor, Sam Kinison, passed away on April 10, 1992 when his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver. Kinison was traveling along U.S. Route 95 to a sold out show in Nevada with his newlywed bride when a driver crossed into Kinison’s lane and struck his Pontiac head on. The driver who caused the accident was a 17-year-old named Troy Pierson. The drunk driver was charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, but did not serve any jail time.
8. Steve Prefontaine – Steve Prefontaine was a 1972 Olympic athlete and American runner. Prefontaine died on May 30, 1975 while returning home from a party with fellow athletes in Eugene Oregon. Prefontaine was traveling in his convertible when he swerved and hit a wall. The impact caused his car to flip leaving the athlete trapped under the weight of his vehicle. Prefontaine was pronounced dead on the scene and toxicology reports showed a BAC of 0.16. This report by Eugene police has come under fire and the accuracy of the reading is dubious.
9. Tim Horton – Tim Horton was a professional Canadian ice hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs, The New York Rangers, The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Buffalo Sabers. On February 21, 1974 Horton was traveling along the Queen Elizabeth Way towards Buffalo. Horton lost control of his vehicle and drove into a median causing his car to flip several times. Horton was ejected from the car and later pronounced dead. Investigators found a vodka bottle in the debris and reports show that Horton’s BAC was well over the legal limit.