Stars who died in freak accidents (2023)

Von Bryanne Salazar 15:02 PST, January 26, 2020

Nothing compares to the loss of a loved one, and grieving the loss of a beloved celebrity can be just as difficult. In honor of all the stars we've loved and lost,Wonderwall.comtakes a look back at those who died prematurely in the most heartbreaking, random, and unbelievable ways... starting with Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers star, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, shockingly died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2019. He was 41 years old. Nine people were killed in the tragedy, including his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria Onore. According to reports, Kobe and Gianna were on their way to basketball practice when the helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California. (He often commuted by helicopter.) The helicopter burst into flames after the crash. Read on to learn the stories of other celebrities who died in freak accidents...

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On August 25, 2001, R&B singer-turned-actress Aaliyah and eight others boarded a twin-engine Cessna in the Bahamas headed to Miami after filming her latest music video. Shortly after takeoff, the plane crashed in a fiery fire, killing all but one on board (the sole survivor later died of his injuries). Investigators linked the crash to an engine failure, while other reports suggested the plane's cargo made it dangerously overweight. At the time of her death, 22-year-old Aaliyah had just made her acting debut in crime thriller Romeo Must Die and wrapped up filming on fantasy thriller Queen of the Damned.

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Sometimes it's still hard to believe that Paul Walker is gone. On November 30, 2013, Paul and his friend and business partner Roger Rodas were killed instantly when the Porsche they were taking for a spin during a daytime charity event crashed and burst into flames in Valencia, California. Roger was later found to be driving at a speed "between 80 and 93 miles per hour when the car struck a utility pole and several trees," according to investigators' final report. Paul, who was only 40 at the time, died from both trauma and severe burns. He left one daughter, Meadow Walker, who had turned 15 a few weeks before the accident.

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Decades before a car accident claimed Paul Walker's life, another bright young (and handsome) Hollywood star died the same way. On September 30, 1955, James Dean was on the verge of becoming one of Hollywood's hottest leading men. He had made his first three films but only seen one of them hit theaters. He and mechanic Rolf Wütherich got into James' Porsche and sped down California Highway 46 en route to an auto race in Salinas. The car collided with another vehicle, resulting in James breaking his neck and suffering massive internal injuries, killing him instantly. While it is believed that James was the driver in the fatal accident, an eyewitness claimed he saw Rolf behind the wheel immediately afterwards. Rolf survived the crash but died in another in 1981.

On March 18, 2009, 45-year-old British film star Natasha Richardson died of a traumatic brain injury sustained just two days earlier while skiing. The actress - who was married to Liam Neeson - and one of her young sons were vacationing in Canada when she decided to take a beginner's ski lesson. According to the teacher, Natasha fell and hit her head towards the end of the lesson, but was in good spirits and joked about the accident immediately afterwards. The instructor asked her to see a doctor, but she refused. Hours later, Natasha developed a raging headache and was rushed to a Montreal hospital, where Liam, who was shooting a movie in Toronto, joined her. According to Liam, Natascha's condition had deteriorated significantly. "I was told she was brain dead. And when I saw that x-ray, it was like, 'Wow'. But obviously she was on life support and all. And I went to her and told her that I love her. [I] said, 'Honey, you're not coming back from this.'” On March 17, Natasha was transferred to a hospital in New York, but sadly she succumbed to her injuries the next day.

On July 16, 1999, the world was shocked to learn that John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister Lauren Bessette went missing after their single-engine plane, piloted by John, failed to land in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts exiting a New Jersey airport. After five days of an intensive search, Navy divers located the wreck in the Atlantic Ocean, about seven miles offshore. John's body was in the hull while the women's bodies were found on the seabed nearby. The investigation determined the crash was due to pilot error - John likely became disoriented during the night flight - which ultimately resulted in the plane hitting the water, killing her instantly.

At the time of her death on August 31, 1997, Princess Diana of Wales was only 36 and still one of the most beloved members of the royal family, despite her divorce from Prince Charles having been finalized just a year earlier. She and her boyfriend, Egyptian billionaire Dodi Fayed, were killed in a horrific accident in which their car sped away trying to avoid the paparazzi and eventually crashed into a Paris tunnel, killing Dodi and the driver instantly. Diana, who was badly injured, was taken to the hospital where she soon died of cardiac arrest, leaving her two sons behind.Prinz WilliamandPrinz Harry.

"Star Trek" fans will know Anton Yelchin as Chekov, the Russian mathematician of the U.S.S. Enterprise, from the film trilogy, which premiered in early 2009. Anton was a rising star when his life came to a sudden and unexpected end on June 19, 2016 at the age of 27 in what can only be described as a freak accident. Investigators believe Anton left his vehicle running in his driveway when he went down to check his mail. He either failed to park the jeep or the parking brake failed, causing the two-ton vehicle to roll backwards, pinning the actor to a security fence and crushing him to death. It is believed that Anton died within a minute of the blow. Anton's parents have since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against vehicle manufacturer Fiat Chrysler. The company has vigorously defended itself against the lawsuit, claiming that Anton was at fault for his own death.

Joan Rivers might have been 81 when she died on September 4, 2014, but according to all who knew and loved the comedian and television personality, she still had so much life left. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, claims her death was the result of mistakes made by a careless surgical team during a routine endoscopy a week earlier. When Joan went into cardiac arrest during a procedure on her neck, the team caring for the star waited 12 minutes to call 911 while the surgeon performing the minor surgery reportedly "left" Joan on the table. She spent a week in intensive care before finally dying of cerebral hypoxia, a lack of oxygen in the brain.

Troy Gentry was one half of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry and was enjoying a hugely successful career when a spontaneous decision to hop on a helicopter in New Jersey for a spin was made on September 8, 2017 at the age of 50 led to his death. Troy's longtime music partner and best friend, Eddie Montgomery, shared that they were invited on a helicopter tour in Medford, New Jersey, just before their scheduled performance. Unfortunately, shortly after takeoff, the engine of the two-seater Troy helicopter malfunctioned and crashed into a heavily forested area, killing the pilot instantly and seriously injuring Troy. He was taken to the hospital where he eventually died with Eddie by his side. The duo had just finished recording their latest album, Here's To You, which Eddie released on February 2, 2018 in honor of his friend and partner.

On December 9, 2012, famed Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera — known as La Diva de la Banda (the diva of banda music) — was killed in a horrific plane crash in Mexico that also claimed the lives of four friends on board as the two pilots. An investigation into the crash found that one of the pilots, who was 78, was "too old for the license" he was given. They also noted that the plane was "flying erratically", had trouble reaching cruising speed, and had earlier operating problems that the owner had not reported.

(Video) Celebrities Who Died in Freak Accidents / Stars who died in freak accidents / Very Sad News

In a horrific turn of events, on April 25, 2002, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes actually filmed her own spiritual retreat, where she was filming herself for an upcoming documentary. Lisa was driving an SUV with eight other passengers (and filming herself doing it) when she lost control of the vehicle and it overturned. She sustained blunt force trauma to the head and died shortly thereafter. Five years after her sudden and unexpected death at the age of 30, VH1 released the documentary that Lisa was making, including the final scene which, out of respect for her family, did not show the actual crash but included the sounds of Lisa and her passengers screaming.

Popular '70s rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd suffered a fatal loss on October 20, 1977 when a plane they chartered from Greenville, South Carolina to Baton Rouge, Louisiana crashed in Mississippi, killing three members: Ronnie Van Zant (right), Steve Gaines (center) and his sister, backup singer Cassie Gaines (not pictured). Both the pilot and co-pilot also died in the accident, as did the band's assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick (also not pictured). Twenty other passengers on the plane, including founding member Gary Rossington (left), survived the fatal crash.

Grace Kelly was a screen legend-turned-Princess of Monaco who met an untimely end on September 14, 1982 at the age of just 52. The former actress was taking her daughter, Princess Stephanie, to Paris to go to school when she missed a sharp turn on a narrow road, causing her vehicle to skid off the edge and fall more than 100 feet. Although Grace and Stephanie survived the first crash and were taken to the hospital, Grace suffered a massive brain hemorrhage and died. Stephanie made a full recovery, but did not speak about the accident, even to her family, until 1989, after she dealt with the traumatic event in therapy.

Folk music legend John Denver, best known for his hits like "Rocky Mountain High" and "Take Me Home, Country Roads," died on October 12, 1997 when the plane he was flying in California ran out of fuel and Monterey Bay collided with him. The singer was just 53 and had years of flying experience, even surviving a previous accident in 1989. Authorities said John was flying a custom-made fiberglass experimental aircraft and was "practicing" at the time. Takeoff and Landing" near his home on the Monterey Peninsula.

Natalie Wood began her Hollywood career as a child star, best known for her role in the Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street. Natalie later became an accomplished adult actress, taking lead roles in films such as West Side Story and Rebel Without a Cause. Unfortunately, on November 29, 1981, when Natalie was just 43 years old, her life was cut short by a mysterious drowning accident while on a boat trip off the coast of Catalina Island in California. On the boat the night of her drowning were her husband Robert Wagner, co-star and friend Christopher Walken, and the boat's captain, Dennis Davern. When Natalie's body was found, the coroner found that she had multiple bruises and scratches on her arms and neck that were believed to have occurred before she drowned. She also had alcohol and drugs in her system, leading them to view the drowning as "accidental." However, later in 2011, Dennis revealed that he believed Robert was responsible for Natalie's death, claiming the two fought just before she fell overboard and Robert forced him to lie to authorities on the night of the accident. Robert and Christopher have both claimed that Natalie's drowning was an accident. In February 2018, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reopened the case and named Robert "a person of interest" in her death.

Steve Irwin - also known as "The Crocodile Hunter" - was a TV personality and animal rights activist loved by children and adults alike. The Australian zookeeper has earned a reputation for successfully and skillfully handling some of the most dangerous animals in the wild, and uses the interactions to teach viewers about their lives and habitats. But on September 4, 2006, while a documentary titled "Ocean's Deadliest" was being filmed, Steve's life ended when a stingray stabbed him in the heart "a hundred times" (according to a cameraman who witnessed the attack). Witnesses claimed Steve's last words were "I'm dying" before he succumbed to the stingray's powerful venom. The most shocking thing about Steve's death is that stingrays are not known to attack even under duress, making this an unprecedented freak accident. Steve, 44, is survived by wife Terri, daughterBind Irwin(pictured) and son Robert Irwin, who have all carried on his legacy by remaining committed to conservation efforts and helping to run Australia Zoo.

February 3, 1959 is widely known as "the day the music died" because that was the day that three talented musicians died in a minor plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa. JP Richardson (aka The Big Bopper, left), Buddy Holly (center) and Ritchie Valens (right) all traveled to Fargo, North Dakota en route to Moorhead, Minnesota where they were scheduled to perform on their Winter Dance Party Tour. Tired of traveling in an unheated bus in the freezing temperatures, Buddy chartered a plane and asked his friends Ritchie and J.P. to travel with him. In the early hours of the morning, the plane crashed just a few kilometers from the take-off site. The initial investigation blamed the pilot (who also died) for the crash, but in February 2015 the case was reopened after a retired pilot suspected other factors such as cargo weight, rudder problems and icing on the carburetor intake to be responsible for the accident responsible.

So tragic and unbelievable is Charmayne Maxwell's death on February 28, 2015 that we are all contemplating drinking wine in a glass. The American-Guyanese singer, best known for performing with '90s girl group Brownstone, died at her L.A. home after accidentally falling backwards and dropping her wine glass. Coroners believe the glass shattered when Charmayne fell, causing two fatal stab wounds in her neck. She was found by her husband, record producer Carsten Soulshock, who took her to the hospital. Unfortunately, she died on the way, leaving Carsten and her 10-year-old son Nicolaj behind.

The disappearance and presumed death of big band leader Glenn Miller has proven to be one of Hollywood's most intriguing mysteries. The renowned artist enlisted in the army in 1942 at the height of his fame, believing it was his patriotic duty. Because of his musical talent, Glenn was hired to lead the Army Air Force Band, which traveled across Europe to various military bases where they performed for the troops. On December 15, 1944, Glenn, who had to leave England to reach Paris for an upcoming performance, took a ride from Lt. Col. Norman Baesll at. Unfortunately, due to thick fog and freezing temperatures, their pilot was denied permission to fly, but Lt. Col. ordered the flight anyway. This fateful decision resulted in an inexperienced pilot flying an ill-equipped small plane across the English Channel where the fuel supply froze, causing the plane to crash into the icy water, killing everyone on board. The army, which was never able to recover Glenn's body, did not release news of his death until December 24, leading to numerous conspiracy theories, including a fanciful story that Glenn was involved in a secret conspiracy to overthrow Hitler.

Considered one of the nation's top blues guitarists, Stevie Ray Vaughan of the band Double Trouble has been credited with the blues revival of the 1980s. Sadly, Stevie Ray died on August 27, 1990, aged just 35, along with four others in a helicopter crash during a flight that was taking him and members of fellow musician Eric Clapton's entourage to Chicago for their next gig. Investigators found that helicopter pilot Jeff Brown made a sharp left turn shortly after takeoff, causing them to fall into a ski slope and instantly killing everyone on board.

Sonny Bono rose to fame alongside his former wife Cher in the '60s and '70s (the couple eventually divorced in 1975). In 1995, Sonny became the US Congressman for the 44th District of California. During his tenure, Sonny decided to vacation at Heavenly Ski Resort in Nevada, not far from Lake Tahoe. On January 5, 1998, Sonny was reported missing at approximately 4:30 p.m. Two hours later, a ski patrol found his body. The singer-turned-politician apparently crashed into a tree while skiing earlier in the day, causing massive head trauma that resulted in his death. Though Cher and Sonny had a bitter split years earlier, the singer-actress delivered a heartfelt, tearful eulogy for her former husband at his funeral and later said his death made her realize how much he still means to her.

If you've ever sang along to the song "Hallelujah" with tears in your eyes, you've probably heard the cover song recorded by singer-songwriter-musician Jeff Buckley in 1994. The music star developed a cult following after releasing his first album and was at the height of his fame when, on May 29, 1997, he made the fateful decision to swim in Nashville, Mississippi. A passing boat created a strong current that washed Jeff under and drowned him. He was 30 years old. His body was not recovered until six days later. In 1998 his second album Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk was released. It contained songs that Jeff had been working on at the time of his death.

Michael Hutchence was the face of Australian rock band INXS, who rose to worldwide fame after the release of their 1985 album Listen Like Thieves. The Grammy-nominated group suffered a major blow on November 22, 1997 when 37-year-old Michael was found dead and completely naked in his Sydney hotel room, having apparently been hanged. While authorities initially believed Michael, who was being treated for depression, had committed suicide, his partner Paula Yates believed the rock star's death was an accident caused during autoerotic asphyxiation during masturbation (a technique in which oxygen is limited). increase in sexual pleasure). Paula, who later died of a heroin overdose, claimed the two engaged in similar sex games during their relationship.

Another star who died under suspicious circumstances was "Kung Fu" actor David Carradine. On June 3, 2009, David was found hanged in his Bangkok hotel room, apparently dead of suicide. However, a later investigation determined that David had died accidentally while engaging in autoerotic asphyxiation. But David's ex-wife Marina Anderson believes the actor was actually murdered, claiming "David never flew alone" and that while he enjoyed "kinky sex," he always had a partner with him. She believes David may have attracted the wrong attention in Thailand and may have paid for someone to engage in sexual activity with him before things "went incredibly wrong".

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Who was the most famous person that fell down the stairs and died? ›

In the morning of 8 September 1560, at Cumnor Place near Oxford, she insisted on sending away her servants and later was found dead at the foot of a flight of stairs with a broken neck and two wounds on her head.
Amy Robsart.
Amy, Lady Dudley
Known forDeath under mysterious circumstances
SpouseRobert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
4 more rows

Who has the most famous death? ›

2019 list
RankNameCause of Death
1Michael JacksonHomicide
2Elvis PresleyHeart attack
3Charles SchulzCancer
4Arnold PalmerHeart disease
9 more rows

What famous singer drowned? ›

Buckley's autopsy showed no signs of drugs or alcohol in his system, and the death was ruled an accidental drowning. The official Jeff Buckley website published a statement saying his death was neither mysterious nor a suicide.

Who is a famous person who failed? ›

Albert Einstein

As a child he didn't start speaking until he was four, reading until he was seven, and was thought to be mentally handicapped. If he gave up and never persevered, his most important theories could not have been known. He went on to win a Nobel Prize and altered the world's approach to physics.

What was celebrities last words before death? ›

Here are a few:
  • “I'll be fine” - Heath Ledger.
  • “I'll be back in five minutes - alright?” - Paul Walker.
  • “I'm losing it” - Frank Sinatra.
  • “It's better to burn out than fade away” - Kurt Cobain.
  • “Money can't buy life” - Bob Marley.
  • “Yeah” - John Lennon.
Oct 10, 2021

Which famous actress died in a car crash? ›

Anne Heche arrives at the 74th annual Directors Guild of America Awards, Saturday, March 12, 2022, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Emmy Award-winning actress died following a car crash on Aug. 5 that left her in a coma.

What celebrity died recently 2022? ›

In Memoriam: Notable people who died in 2022
  • Pope Benedict XVI, 95. Pope Benedict XVI was born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger in Germany in 1927. ...
  • Barbara Walters, 93. ...
  • Pele, 82. ...
  • Vivienne Westwood, 81. ...
  • Franco Harris, 72. ...
  • Stephen "tWitch" Boss, 40. ...
  • Kirstie Alley, 71. ...
  • Bob McGrath, 90.

Who famous died recently 2022? ›

Remembering Queen Elizabeth II, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Sidney Poitier, Bill Russell, Loretta Lynn, Jiang Zemin, Benedict XVI, Madeleine Albright, Jean-Luc Godard, Shinzo Abe, Pelé, Barbara Walters, Régine, Ivana Trump and many others who died in 2022.

What famous person failed before they succeeded? ›

Walt Disney has been a household name since the 1940s but before the release of Snow White in 1937, Walt faced his fair share of rejection. Despite numerous online reports that Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City newspaper at an early age, the truth is he was never hired.


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6. 'Star Trek' actor dies in freak accident
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