Celebrities Involved in Horrible Car Accidents
Car accidents often happen in the blink of an eye, yet their consequences can last forever. Even celebrities aren’t immune to bad luck — or plain old bad choices — behind the wheel.
Some celebrities involved in horrible car accidents walk away with barely a scratch. Others are not so lucky, even if the fault was not their own. Let’s take a look at some famous celebrities who survived deadly car accidents — and those who didn’t.
On September 30, 1955, Hollywood heartthrob James Dean had a fatal car accident just outside of Cholame, California. His passenger, a German mechanic, and the other driver, Donald Turnupseed, survived. Turnupseed pulled out in front of Dean at an intersection on the highway. He didn't see Dean in time, who was going extremely fast.
Back in 1989, Gary Busey had a serious motorcycle accident that almost cost him his life. Because he wasn't wearing a helmet, he sustained serious brain damage and had to relearn basic motor skills like walking, talking and swallowing. Busey was lucky to survive, as most patients with his type of injuries don’t survive.
While evading the paparazzi in West Hollywood in 2005, Lindsay Lohan pulled a tricky turn and collided into the back of a minivan. Luckily, she only sustained minor injuries. Her car, on the other hand, a $180,000 Mercedes-Benz, sustained major damage.
In 2014, Tracy Morgan was seriously injured — and his friend, James McNair, was killed — when a tractor-trailer collided with Morgan's limousine tour bus. According to New Jersey State Police, a Walmart truck driver didn’t slow down in time and slammed into the bus, causing it to overturn.
On the morning of February 6, 1990, Billy Idol ran a stop sign on his motorcycle and collided with another vehicle. In typical rock star fashion, Idol wasn’t wearing a helmet, and he was seriously hurt. In fact, doctors barely saved his leg from amputation.
Paul Walker was a passenger on his way home from a charity event on the afternoon of November 30, 2013. According to events pieced together after the fact, Walker and his driver were traveling at around 100 mph when they collided into a lamp post, and the car exploded in a burst of flames. Both Walker and the driver died.
After his horrible car accident in Mississippi in 2008, Morgan Freeman is lucky to be breathing. He lost control of the vehicle, and it veered off the highway and flipped several times before coming to rest in a ditch.
File it in the "it could have been much worse" category. In October 2019, Mad About You star Helen Hunt was a passenger in an SUV when it was T-boned by another car and flipped in the middle of a Los Angeles intersection. She was immediately taken to the hospital, where it was determined she had no serious injuries.
George Lucas has always had a love of hot rods and driving fast, and one day it almost cost him his life. While still in high school, he was driving a custom modified Autobianchi Bianchina when another car hit him at 90 mph. Lucas' car flipped over multiple times, and it took him four months to recover in the hospital.
One of the original blonde bombshells in Hollywood, Jayne Mansfield became a sensation as a curvaceous and sexy movie star. In June 1967, she left Biloxi, Mississippi, after finishing a nightclub gig and was on her way to New Orleans, where she was scheduled for a television appearance the next day.
Sometimes, you just can’t escape bad luck. In 2010, Dennis Rodman was driving his Range Rover on the I-95 freeway in Fort Lauderdale when he suddenly had a blowout of one of his tires. Due to his rate of speed, the blowout caused the car to flip over three times.
Things took a turn for the scary for Gloria Estefan one night in 1990. She was traveling through the Pocono Mountains on her Miami Sound Machine tour bus with her husband and son. A truck crashed into the bus, and the sudden impact caused Estefan to suffer a crushed vertebrae.
One day in 2015, Harrison Ford was flying his small WWII-era aircraft — okay, it’s not a car but still notable — over Santa Monica when he suddenly experienced engine failure. An experienced pilot, Ford didn't panic and tried to make an emergency landing at a conveniently placed golf course.
Due to a series of events that are still hotly contested, Princess Diana passed away on August 31, 1997. Her death was a result of a car accident inside a road tunnel in Paris, France.
Stevie Wonder had a close call back in 1973 in a near-fatal car accident. After finishing a concert in South Carolina, Wonder was sleeping, and his cousin was driving. His cousin hit the back of a flatbed truck, and Wonder struck his head very hard. The car veered out of control and rolled several times.
Princess Grace of Monaco died in France on September 23, 1982, after her car crashed through a retaining wall and flipped over a cliff. Her 17-year-old daughter, Stephanie, survived.
In 1976, after the filming of the original Star Wars but before it was released, Mark Hamill had a serious car accident. According to Hamill, he was driving too fast "out in the sticks" and lost control. The car rolled several times, and Hamill fractured his nose and his cheek.
Mega comedian Kevin Hart didn't find his car accident in Calabasas, California, to be anything to laugh about. In September 2019, Hart was a passenger in his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, when his friend, Jared Black, lost control of the vehicle.
Country singer Travis Tritt will probably never forget what he witnessed during a fatal multi-vehicle accident in Myrtle Beach in May of 2019. Riding in his tour bus, he saw a vehicle going the wrong way down Veteran's Highway. The vehicle in front of Tritt's tour bus hit the wrong-way car, which then sideswiped Tritt's tour bus.
Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes
Lisa Left Eye Lopes, one of the singers and stars in the hit all-girl group TLC, passed away in a car accident in Honduras in 2002. Traveling on a curvy and unfamiliar road, she attempted to pass a truck on the highway but had to swerve to avoid a vehicle coming the other way.
Model Niki Taylor was involved in a traumatic car crash in May 2001 that impacted the rest of her life. Her boyfriend was driving, and he became distracted answering his phone and lost control of the vehicle, crashing into a utility pole.
Actress Rebecca Gayheart was involved in a fatal auto accident back in 2001, but she wasn’t the fatality. Gayheart hit a 9-year-old boy when she was attempting to pass a vehicle. Some reported she was going too fast in a school zone. She remained with the boy until the ambulance came, but he later passed away.
Vince Neil, the lead vocalist for the hit ‘80’s band Mötley Crüe, survived a tragic car accident that claimed the life of English musician Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley back in 1984. Neil and Dingley were on their way to a liquor store when they hit an oncoming car.
Jackass star and stuntman Ryan Dunn died tragically in a car accident in 2011. Dunn and his friend were estimated to be speeding at 130 mph when his car smashed through a guardrail and exploded into flames in the woods. Both men died in the crash.
Rachel Bilson, former star of The O.C. and Hart of Dixie, is fortunate to be alive after being in a traumatic car accident when she was 16. Bilson revealed in an interview that the small car they were in was going way too fast on the Pacific Coast Highway and crashed head-on into an oncoming truck.
Actress and musician Juliette Lewis was the victim of a hit and run car accident back in 2010. She was headed home as a passenger after a day of working a promotional event for her latest film, Conviction. The other driver allegedly ran a red light and T-boned their Town Car in an intersection.
Back in 1986, singer, songwriter and music producer Luther Vandross was involved in a car accident that claimed the life of one of his passengers. According to reports, Vandross drifted into the oncoming lane, causing a collision with two other cars.
In 2000, Halle Berry allegedly fled the scene of an accident after she ran a red light. Berry went directly home after the incident and later went to a hospital, where she was treated and received 22 stitches. The next morning, she filed a police report.
Famous comedian Sam Kinison, known for his manic and loud screaming, died as the result of a car accident in 1992. A 17-year-old drunk driver veered into his lane, causing a head-on collision that proved fatal for Kinison. His wife survived the accident.
Padma Lakshmi, host of Top Chef, suffered a horrible accident in Malibu at the young age of 14. While traveling with her parents, their car went off the freeway and plummeted down about 40 feet.