Celebrities are known to captivate groupies, paparazzi, and the public at large. Even when they get pulled over for a speeding ticket, people are there snapping pictures. But when they are in a crash, it’s everywhere. For example, the recent Arnold Schwarzenegger crash. We all knew about it right away from TMZ getting it all over social media in minutes, even though no serious injuries were reported at all. Sometimes, the attention they get off-screen acting, fighting in the octagon, or playing team sports can draw attention to public safety issues like actor Alec Baldwin blasting a woman with a loaded handgun and getting off. And like most of us, when a celebrity gets injured, it brings us closer together on a human level.
In our other celebrity motorcycle accident article, celebrity car accident lawyer Mike Ehline discussed those traumatic injuries sustained while riding. Although car accidents are less dangerous on average than motorcycles, it doesn’t mean anyone thinks being enclosed in a roll cage prevents celebrity career-ending injuries or wrongful death.
Like all of us, sometimes celebrities may be partially at fault for causing accidents or worsening injuries. Prescription drugs, hard drugs, and alcohol can hurt the best of us and lead to a single-car crash down Hawthorne Blvd. But not all car accidents involving celebrities and famous comedians are caused by the celebrity’s actions or inaction. Sometimes accidents happen. We also hope this article will help you stay more aware and remind you to stay off your phone while operating a car or other motorized vehicle. At the end of this educational saga, we will offer you a hassle-free consultation at no charge at any of our convenient locations across California and Texas when an accident results from no fault of your own, and you desire personal injury protection.
Here are ten of the most headline-grabbing and tragic car crashes involving celebrities include the following:
Apple Watts’ sister, Dominique Flournoy, had confirmed that her sister was traveling from one city to another when the incident happened. She was going to Las Vegas from Los Angeles when her car hit a diesel truck. According to Dominique Flournoy, her car ended up crashing during the collision.
But before stopping, Apple Watts’ car went through multiple flips. The flipping made the accident even worse as she flew through the window, getting launched from the vehicle during the rollover accident. Watts had driven north on the I-15 partway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. At some point, her Mercedes made contact with a Ford F-250 pickup truck, which caused her Benz to flip multiple times.
She was pulled to safety by a passenger in the F-250 pickup truck just before her car was engulfed in flames. Watts, unconscious, was air-lifted to the University Medical Center in Las Vegas. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) says Watts suffered “major injuries.” (Read more here.)
Tiger Wood’s black box evidence reveals Tiger was in an SUV vehicle driving over the posted speed limit down a steep, winding section of Hawthorne Blvd, in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, near Rolling Hills Estates. But many experts believe this was a distracted driving, single-car accident, possibly prescription drug-influenced, causing him to drive into oncoming traffic over the center median, roll his SUV, and strike a tree. He severely injured his legs and is lucky to be alive. Michael Ehline and his family lived in Rancho Palos Verdes at the time, and he personally saw the aftermath and filmed everything. Mike is thankful no lives were lost on the winding road. Michael also thinks officials at the LA Sheriff gave Tiger a pass after this second questionable accident, and so did the evening news.
Matt Hughes is a quintessential sportsman and UFC Hall of Famer, having been the UFC welterweight champion. I place him among the greatest fighters ever for his period in modern Mixed Martial Arts (“MMA”) evolution.
Pound for pound, Hughes was a whirlwind with his wrestling background and brave demeanor. Hughes is one of my heroes in MMA. And I love that he is a farm boy and even settled a lawsuit against his brother over a tractor. However, it was devastating to learn he almost died in a train versus auto accident a few years back. Hughes was involved in a near-fatal train crash on June 16, 2017. It severely injured both his body and brain. As a sad result, his MMA career is over, and his life is turned upside down on many levels.
Recently, Hughes announced he was suing the train operator responsible for the crash.
MMA Fighting had a good write-up of the situation. Hughes alleges that the Norfolk Southern Railway (“NS”) was negligent by not warning motorists of dangerous conditions at the railway crossing. The facts relate that the train struck the passenger side of Hughes’ Chevy Z71 truck at a rail crossing close to his residence in Montgomery County, Illinois.
First, some history. Paul Walker was touted by many as the new James Dean of fast cars and rebel spirit. Dean, as we older adults will recall, was on his way to a racetrack to race a car when he crashed his Porsche Spyder around 80-90 mph when he lost control. Unlike Dean’s case, in the Walker case, his friend Rodas was driving, as opposed to the movie star himself. Like Dean’s death, the car was a Porsche; unlike Dean’s death, the model was a Carerra GT. No one believed it when they heard Paul Walker and his friend died in a car accident. All the lawyers in our office are fans of the “Fast & Furious” movie franchise.
And we all stood in shock as video emerged showing a burning Porsche where Walker died inside, on national television after a 2014 single-car accident as a passenger driven by his friend Roger Rodas. It appears he and his friend died sometime after the sports car reached a speed of 90 miles per hour or more, culminating in a single-vehicle accident. Witnesses reported that Rodas lost control of the Porsche and careened into several utility poles, including a tree, which caught fire. The flames consumed the injury victims, shocking the world of fast cars. Just like when Dean died in 1955, a speeding Porsche was involved, and national grief followed.
Actor/Comedian Tracy Morgan sustained catastrophic injuries, including a brain injury, during a Walmart truck accident while he was traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike in 2014. Morgan was an innocent passenger in a limousine who was hit by a commercial Wal-Mart truck. Although the police ruled out intoxicated driving, investigators were able to prove that the truck driver fell asleep at the wheel, and that is what caused the truck accident. Morgan languished in a hospital for a long time and has never fully recovered.
A semi-truck accident caused music star Gloria Estefan to be seriously injured in 1990. The facts show that her tour bus was struck by a commercial truck while passing through Pennsylvania. Estefan suffered a broken back during the accident. She had to have surgery on her back, including titanium rods. She also had to undergo excruciating physical therapy to learn how to walk again.
Princess Diana’s death was a tragic event that deeply affected people worldwide. On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana, her companion Dodi Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul, were involved in a car crash in Paris’s Pont de l’Alma tunnel. The crash occurred while they were being pursued by paparazzi photographers on motorcycles.
The official investigation conducted by French authorities concluded that the crash was primarily due to excessive speed and the impairment of the driver, Henri Paul. (He had a high level of alcohol in his system.) The investigation also found that neither Princess Diana nor Dodi Fayed wore seat belts, contributing to their injuries’ severity. Although there are many conspiracy theories about who killed her or whether it was an accident, our takeaway is to wear your seatbelt and not drink and drive if you want to stay alive.
Grace Kelly In 1982, was in a fatal automobile accident that killed Grace Kelly. Also known as the Princess of Monaco, she was just 52 years old when she passed away. Although Princess Grace hated driving, authorities said she was driving instead of a chauffeur on that fateful day. Today, rumors still abound as to why and how her vehicle drove through a retaining wall during a sharp 150-degree turn and fell a 120-foot, steep slope.
Ryan Dunn was a popular figure due to the “Jackass” franchise. He tragically passed away in a 2011 car accident. On June 20, 2011, Dunn was driving his Porsche 911 GT3 in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania, when his car drove off the road, crashed through a guardrail, and caught fire in a wooded area. The accident resulted in his fiery death and his passenger, Zachary Hartwell.
Subsequent investigations and toxicology reports revealed that Dunn’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was more than twice the legal limit of 0.08. This DUI finding emphasized the role of alcohol impairment as a contributing factor to the accident. You do have options like taking an Uber or a Taxi cab.
Niki Taylor, a well-known model, faced a traumatic car accident that severely injured her. On April 29, 2001, the car she was a passenger in crashed when the driver lost control while attempting to answer a cell phone, causing the accident as it collided with a utility pole.
Niki Taylor went into a coma that lasted over a month. She suffered extensive injuries that required significant medical attention. She underwent more than 50 surgeries to address the damage and injuries sustained in the accident. Her journey to recovery was challenging, underscoring why safe driving practices and avoiding distractions, such as using cell phones while operating a vehicle, remain vital.
Bonus Accident – Lisa Lopes SUV Rollover
There are many other terrible celebrity car accidents, including Lisa Lopes (Lisa Lopes, Known better by her nickname, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes). She was one part of the ‘90s super-trio TLC. But in 2002, it all ended after she tried to pass a vehicle but swerved and lost control of her SUV. Her utility truck went into a ditch, struck two trees, and rolled multiple times, killing her in the process. Her death helped lead the way to better SUV rollover protection regulations.
Other less well-known Celebrity Car Crash Cases?
- Billy Idol: Idol was in a bad motorcycle accident (Read more.)
- Taylor Swift: She suffered internal injuries, including liver damage and a collapsed lung.
- Billy Martin: Billy Martin was a pro baseball player and manager, most famous for playing with the New York Yankees. After leaving a bar, he passed away in a single-car crash on a steep, winding driveway, killing him and his companion, who were both drunk during the crash.
- Sam Kinison: Sam Kinison is a famous 1980s comedian. He died in a car crash in 1992 when a car hit his vehicle head-on.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger: “The Gubernator” was caught up in two noteworthy motorcycle collisions with minor injuries, one in 2001 and the other in 2006. Although he hit his motorcycle windshield with his chest in 2001, neither that nor the 2006 crash seriously injured him or anyone else.
- T.E. Lawrence, the real Lawrence of Arabia, fought alongside the Arabs in the Middle East during World War I. In 1935, he passed away riding his motorcycle after he swerved around two children on the road, crashing and suffering a brain injury. He passed six days after crashing.
- Ernie Kovaks: Ernie Kovacs was a popular TV and radio personality from the 1950s. He died in 1962 in a single-car car collision. Evidence supports the theory that he was distracted by either lighting a cigar or reaching for a cigar at the time of the impact.
- Jayne Mansfield: This most famous female actress died in a 1967 truck accident after her car crashed into the back of a semi-truck trailer during dense fog caused by weather and a mosquito-fogging machine. We have to remember back then, there were no seatbelt laws either.
Lesson to Learn From the 10 Worst Celebrity Car Accidents
We hope you enjoyed and learned from our discussion about celebrity car crashes. Car accidents can happen to anyone, and you can get hurt even if you are minding your own business and not at fault. Staying alert and safety-minded remains the best way to prevent a car accident. You will have to do more research to find out the legal outcomes for each case discussed above, as we just wanted to cover what we think are the 10 worst celebrity car accidents from the perspective of a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles.
Contact Our Celebrity Car Accident Law Firm Today
Were you or someone you love seriously injured by a celebrity in a car accident? Did someone you know receive titanium rods after being struck by a celebrity in a car crash? Put our experience to work for you, fighting against the privileged Hollywood elites. We have helped thousands of people like you and given them the confidence of knowing we won’t reach a settlement unless you are fully and fairly compensated for your out-of-pocket losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.
All you have to do is call us for a free consultation today at (213) 596-9642 or use our convenient online contact form to talk to us about your case at our nearest location. Families have counted on us since 2005. We are ready to listen and solve your problems, so schedule a free call to avoid sleeping on your rights to money damages by blowing the statute of limitations!