Although we like to think of celebrities as leading charmed lives, safe from the cares that impact daily life for the average person, the truth is that no amount of fame can protect a person from unsafe conditions—whether external or caused by a driver—that lead to car accidents. —and While some famous celebrity car accidents have resulted in very little injury, with all parties walking away and property damage the only concern, others have been incredibly lethal–and very tragic, particularly in the case of younger celebrities.
Most of the country is aware of the reputations that child stars like Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes have cultivated for dangerous driving; in 2012 Lohan’s troubles intensified when city attorneys in both Santa Monica, California and New York, NY filed misdemeanor charges against the actress within a 24-hour period. In June 8, 2012, the actress was involved in an accident when she slammed into an 18-wheeler on California’s Pacific Coast Highway. Though no one was seriously injured, Lohan gave false information to the police officer who came to the scene, as well as committing other misdemeanor crimes. Amanda Bynes was charged with two hit-and-run incidents in 2012, in addition to an arrest for driving under the influence. The hit-and-run charges were later dismissed, but Bynes is still facing troubles from her DUI charge as well as counts of driving on a suspended license.
Many celebrities have not been so lucky; Princess Grace Kelly, for example, died from a car accident that occurred when she was 52 years old, living in the principality of Monaco. Kelly had picked up her daughter, Stephanie, and was driving home along Monaco’s winding roads when she lost control of the car, apparently due to suffering a stroke behind the wheel. Grace was pulled out of the car alive, but had suffered serious injuries from the car’s transit down the mountainside. She died the following day having never regained consciousness; her daughter suffered a serious fracture and bruising, but recovered.
It is more frequent that celebrities experience embarrassing accidents rather than fatal ones. For example, Michael Phelps, the famous Olympic athlete, was humbled after he crashed his Cadillac Escalade due to reckless driving—with many pointing to drugs as the culprit. He received only minor injuries, but the injury to his pride most likely took a while to heal. Juliette Lewis was also involved in a recent car accident; she was riding in a Lincoln Town Car with a driver when the vehicle was t-boned on an intersection in Hollywood; fortunately Lewis escaped with only neck injuries.
An example of a truly tragic car accident occurring to a celebrity was the death of Sam Kinison in April of 1992. Sam had wedded his third wife less than a week prior to the accident, and was traveling to a sold out show in Nevada; in a rare show of restraint, he was clean of alcohol and drugs both. The car was hit by a 17 year old male, driving his father’s pickup truck while intoxicated. Witnesses reported that initially Kinison appeared shaken but okay, though later he began what seemed like a conversation with someone who was not there, saying he didn’t want to die, then asked why, and finally softly started to say okay over and over until he passed. EMTs attempted to revive him at the scene but without luck. Kinison’s head hit the windshield because he wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
If there is a lesson to be learned from these sad and funny stories, it is that no amount of fame or money can replace a level of caution while driving. It is important to take care while you are on the road so that you are not the victim of yet another car accident, requiring the services of a Delray Beach car accident attorney.