Over the last 100 years, a huge number of well-known stars have met their end tragically on the roads. There are a few that have gone out in absolutely insane ways. These are not your everyday car crashes, these are incredible and tragic stories.
This may be the most famous tragic car wreck in Hollywood (at least until Paul Walker’s death) James Dean was a young superstar, just 24 years and his star was still on the rise. Although he starred in only two movies in his lifetime (a third, Giant, was released after his death), Dean had become an icon, especially to teenagers. Dean was killed when the Porche he was driving at high speed crashed into another and burst into flames. It has been said it was an instantaneous end for the star.
Isadora Duncan is not the most famous person on this list, but her death is the most spectacular.
Her life was as crazy as her death. Isadora Duncan was a very famous dancer who was born in California but spent most of her life in Europe and the Soviet Union; she even became a citizen of the USSR. She was an outspoken communist, bisexual and atheist. Being even one of those three things were almost unheard of when she lived, especially in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All of that though, as well as her fame as a dancer, all paled in comparison to how famous her death became.
The exact details of her death are unclear, but what is clear is it was horrific. On the 14th of September, 1927, in Nice, France, Duncan drove off as a passenger in a car wearing a long, flowing scarf. The scarf was so long it trailed behind and wrapped around the open-spoke rear wheel of the car and tightened around Duncan’s neck, which snapped under the pressure. Some reports say she was yanked from the car and landed on the pavement. Other reports say she was nearly decapitated by the force of the accident.
Like James Dean before him, Paul Walker was a huge star at the pinnacle of his career. The star of seven Fast & Furious movies, Walker ironically died in a horrible crash when his friend, Roger Rodas, wrapped a Porsche Carrera GT that he was driving with Walker riding shotgun around a lamp post.
It is theorized that Rodas was “drifting” the car around a bend at around 90 mph when he lost control and slammed into the pole. The car exploded upon impact and both victims were burned beyond recognition. The exact cause of the accident is unknown, but police have said that the pair were not street racing.
Grace Kelly lived a fairy tale life. She was a huge movie star as a young woman in the 1950s and she would go on to marry Prince Ranier of Monaco, become Princess Grace. Yet there was nothing in the fairy tales like the terrible crash that took her life at age 52, in 1982.
While driving back from the family’s country estate to Monaco with her adult daughter, Kelly had a minor stroke and lost control of the car and drove off the steep mountainside road and careened down a 120-foot embankment. She was killed instantly, but her daughter, who tried to gain control of the steering wheel, survived with only minor injuries.
Kelly was buried in the family plot in Monaco and her husband, the Prince, never remarried. It was truly a tragic end to a charmed life.
Live fast, die young is an old saying that never held truer than the case of one the stars of the Jackass series, Ryan Dunn. Dunn was a madman, a stuntman, a skater, and partier. He lived life on the edge and then one night, he went over it.
In the early morning hours of June 20th, 2011, Dunn left a local bar near his home in Pennsylvania in his Porsche 911. Minutes later, he careened off the road and into the woods. The car disintegrated and Dunn was killed. His blood alcohol content was well above the legal limit and it was estimated that he was driving in excess of 130 miles per hour. That is a dangerous combination that proved deadly. Dunn was only 34 years old.
Don’t drink and drive.