Stars Who Died in Tragic Accidents

by Morgan DeBoest

Stars Who Died in Tragic Accidents

Car accidents, plane crashes, and overdoses have all taken lives too early, but it seems especially tragic when a celebrity dies. Luckily, these stars are immortalized in their life’s work.


Nathaniel Marston



On November 11, 2015, soap actor Nathaniel Marston died at age 40 from injuries sustained in a car accident weeks before. Best known for his role on One Life to Live, Marston was in critical condition after suffering from a broken back, broken neck and other injuries. “Nathaniel passed away peacefully as I held him in my arms,” wrote his mother Elizabeth Jackson on Facebook. “Thank you for sharing your love, your experiences with me about how my treasured child, a man who grew into an individual who touched more lives than I ever could have known. ”


Adriana Campos



Colombian actress Adriana Campos and her husband Carlos Rincón died in a car accident in November 2015. Rincón reportedly lost control of the car in which the two were riding and veered off the road. The two leave behind their young son.


Paul Walker



Paul Walker passed away tragically in a fiery car crash. It was ruled that speed—not drugs, alcohol, racing, or mechanical trouble—was to blame.


Princess Diana of Wales



Princess Di was fleeing from the paparazzi when the car she was traveling in was struck. She passed away in the crash at age 36.


Heath Ledger



Actor Heath Ledger died from an accidental prescription drug overdose in 2008, after reports of his “refusing help” from friends and family.


James Dean



In 1955, Rebel Without a Cause actor and car racer James Dean passed away in a two-car crash at the age of 24.


Cory Monteith



Cory Monteith, 31, died in 2013 from a drug and alcohol overdose. He was found in a Vancouver hotel room.


Amy Winehouse



After a troubled period marked with trips to rehab, Amy Winehouse passed away in 2011 at the age of 27 from accidental alcohol poisoning.


River Phoenix



Phoenix, the Stand by Me and My Own Private Idaho star, died of an accidental overdose while out at friend Johnny Depp’s L.A. nightclub, The Viper Room.





In 2001, the singer and former wife of R. Kelly died tragically in a plane accident in the Bahamas.


Natasha Richardson



You probably recognize her from The Parent Trap and Maid in Manhattan, but did you know she was married to Liam Neeson, too? Natasha Richardson passed away in 2009 after falling while on a ski trip with one of her sons.


Sonny Bono



Bono, of “Sonny and Cher,” passed away suddenly when he crashed into a tree while on a ski trip in 1998.


Marilyn Monroe



Famous model and sex icon Marilyn Monroe suffered from severe insomnia and relied on a series of sedatives and amphetamines to get her through each day and night. She died after accidentally overdosing on Nembutal.


Lisa ‘Left-Eye’ Lopez



Left Eye, TLC rapper/singer, was vacationing in Honduras when the SUV she was driving rolled over suddenly. She perished immediately after sustaining a blow to the head.


Otis Redding



Redding, known as the “Crown Prince of Soul,” passed away in 1968 at age 26, when his plane (en route from Cleveland, OH to Madison, WI) hit the surface of an icy lake.


Greg Plitt



Fitness model and star of Bravo’s “Work Out,” Greg Plitt, 37, died in early 2015 while making a video. He was running down train tracks in Southern California when a commuter train struck and killed him.


Steve Irwin



“Crocodile Hunter” Irwin passed away in a freak accident when a stingray stung and killed him. Since his death in 2006, there have only been 17 stingray-related deaths on record worldwide.


Chris Farley



Comedian and “SNL” actor Chris Farley died of an overdose in Chicago in 1997 after a tumultuous period marked by drug and alcohol abuse.


Buddy Holly



Musician Buddy Holly (singer of “Peggy Sue” and “That’ll Be the Day”) died in 1959 when the small aircraft he was riding in crashed. The plane went down in northern Iowa.


Bob Simon



In February 2015, veteran war reporter and “60 Minutes” correspondent Bob Simon died in a car crash in Manhattan.


Jayne Mansfield



Mansfield, an actress and early Playboy Playmate, died in a car crash in 1967 at the age of 34. Mansfield had one daughter—none other than Mariska Hargitay.


John Denver



Country singer John Denver (“Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Rocky Mountain High”) died in 1997 when his small aircraft plunged into Monterey Bay in California.


Grace Kelly



Grace Kelly, princess of Monaco and film actress, died in 1982 when she lost control of her car because of a stroke. She was comatose for 24 hours before passing away.