Paul Walker passed away in a fiery accident that even to this day, two years after it happened, remains a mystery for his close ones. Porsche is facing four lawsuits, all accusing the carmaker of the actor’s death. The past decades, however, show us that many other personalities have perished in similar car accidents, yet it almost never was the car manufacturer’s fault.
Shortly after Meadow Walker filed a suit against Porsche the other week, the actor’s father did the same on November 25, blaming the lack of safety features on the actor’s Carrera GT for the crash. In the light of such events and considering Paul Walker’s case remains one of the most debated in recent history, one must wonder whether or not these cases happen often.
The number of famous actors, writers, singers or even scientists who died in car accidents is, unfortunately, quite vast. It should be noted from the very beginning that rarely was the car itself to be blamed. To back this statement, here’s a short list of the cases that any petrolhead with a long weekend at his disposal is free to fill up anytime.
A true icon of the late 1950s, Dean was only 24 when he passed away in what clearly was a premature death. The first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, James Dean was famous for his teenage disillusionment and social estrangement. The young actor’s death in a traffic accident may as well be the one to relate the most to Paul Walker, as he too was a racing enthusiast and also quite fond of Porsche cars.
As a matter of fact, Dean was holding the wheel of his famous Porsche 550 Spyder “Little Bastard” when it happened. As it is very well known, police investigation stated it was speeding that caused the crash. But 50 years later, Ron Nelson, a former California Highway Patrol officer who had been called to the scene, told Los Angeles Times that the “wreckage and the position of Dean’s body indicated his speed at the time of the accident was more like 55 mph.”
The famous comedian, actor and writer’s case must be one of the most noted of the past century. He was known for his visually experimental comedic style that influenced numerous television comedy programs for years after his death, but perhaps not many people know today that he died at the age of 42 due to a car accident.
Kovacs left a party he had attended with his wife Edie Adams in the early morning hours of January 13, 1962, and the couple departed in separate cars. It had rained lightly that day, but it was enough for the actor to lose control of his Chevrolet Corvair station wagon while turning fast. He crashed into a power pole and was thrown halfway out the passenger side, dying almost instantly from chest and head injuries.
Renowned for becoming the first host of The Tonight Show, Allen initially started his career in radio. A legend of talk shows, he was also an excellent pianist and a prolific composer, having written more than 14,000 songs. As a matter of fact, Allen also won the 1964 Grammy Award for Best Original Jazz Composition. He also wrote more than 50 books and has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Hollywood theater named in his honor.
His death perhaps is one of the oddest ever registered. On October 30, 2000, Allen was driving to meet his son when his vehicle was struck by a car backing out of a driveway. What remains quite shocking is that neither the television star nor the other driver believed he was injured. They even exchanged insurance information. It was only when he arrived at his son’s home that Allen felt a little confused and shaky.
After resting for a couple of minutes on the sofa, Allen thought he felt better. He walked into the kitchen to talk with other family members and then went to the bathroom. He never came back, as Allen was eventually found sitting on the toilet slumped to one side. It was later determined that the cause of death was a massive heart attack caused by a hemopericardium from a ruptured artery.
The singer was a member of the girl group TLC, having contributed her self-written raps to many of the band’s singles. The four Grammy Awards winner passed away in a car accident while she was only 30. Lopes was driving a rented Mitsubishi Montero Sport around a bend when she swerved to the right to avoid a truck then immediately to the left as she tried to avoid an oncoming car.
The vehicle rolled several times after hitting two trees, throwing her and the three passengers through the car’s windows. While the others survived, Lopes died of neck injuries and severe head trauma. Unfortunately, she was not wearing a seat belt.
A man who survived space – the NASA astronaut was the third man to walk on the Moon during the Apollo 12 mission – Conrad passed away due to a motorcycle accident. Perhaps gravity was bound to bring his life to an end, considering that he set an eight-day space endurance record along with his Command Pilot Gordon Cooper on the Gemini 5 mission. Awarded with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, he was also fond of racing, but it’s not the track where the tragic incident happened.
Conrad died on July 8, 1999, which happened to be a few months before the 30th anniversary of the first moon landing. He was riding his motorcycle in California when he ran off a section of roadway renowned for a high number of accidents. Due to his proper protective gear and a safe speed limit, Conrad seemed to be fine. At the hospital, though, doctors detected internal bleeding and he succumbed to his injuries only a few hours later.
A stunt performer, comedian, actor, writer and musician, Dunn was one of the Jackass members who took the word stunt to a whole new level. Along with the famed daredevils, Dunn managed to pull off some of the most dangerous gigs ever, but an alcohol-related automobile accident caused his premature passing.
Dunn and a production assistant on Jackass Number Two were both killed when the actor’s Porsche 911 GT3 veered off the road and hit a tree in West Goshen Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Metallica’s bass guitarist remains one of the young artists that will always be remembered as a great talent who left this world before singing all his notes. The accident in which he lost his life is as weird as it is tragic, and happened when the band was on tour with their bus. The oddity relates to the fact that he and his fellow band members decided to play cards with Kirk Hammett to determine who would get to pick the beds, as the sleeping cubicles on their tour bus were uncomfortable.
Even though he won the game with an ace of spades, he clearly didn’t get the better sleeping place considering it was him who was thrown through the window of the bus when the vehicle skidded off the road and flipped onto the grass. Unfortunately, it fell on top of him, killing him instantly.