Most people have been in a car accident a time or two in their lives, so most know about the horrors that one goes through when it happens. Celebrities are no different when it comes to automobiles and the recklessness that sometimes happens when driving. Some accidents are worse than others, and every now and then, we tend to think that nothing bad will ever happen to our favorite public figure. Then there are tragedies that turn out as “blessings in disguise,” where a new law may be passed, or better safety features might be installed in cars, as a result of bad accidents.
The singer Brandy Norwood (simply known as Brandy), was involved in a fatal car crash back in 2006. She was driving on the San Diego freeway, when she rear-ended a Toyota with her Range Rover. She did not notice that the traffic had slowed down, and continued to go the speed limit. The driver of the Toyota was killed when another car hit it after it was forced from the freeway, because of Brandy’s actions. Brandy was not charged, but she did settle a few lawsuits from the victim’s family out of court. She has been reported as saying that she thinks about the victim daily, and has lost sleep because of what happened.
12. Nick Hogan
Nick Hogan is best known for his personality on the reality television show, Hogan Knows Best; where he appears with his famous father; professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, along with the rest of his family. In 2007, Nick was not yet 21 years old and had been drinking previous to driving his Toyota Supra, when he started to drag race a friend who was driving nearby. Nick lost control of his car and it crashed into a palm tree, injuring his friend, John Graziano (who was Nick’s passenger) so bad that he now has brain damage and needs care around the clock for the rest of his life. Nick had multiple charges filed against him; and was sentenced to jail, probation and community service. He also had his license suspended, but he also has to wake up every morning knowing that he caused a permanent disability to his good friend.
11. Rowan Atkinson
Rowan Atkinson (also known as Mr. Bean), has been in a few car accidents over the years with his McLaren F1, worth over a million dollars, and is reportedly one of the fastest cars in the world. In 2011, Rowan lost control of his speedy car while in Cambridgeshire, England, and hit a lamppost and a tree. The famous Mr. Bean walked away from the accident with only a shoulder injury, but the car caught fire and there was major damage; almost two million dollars worth of damage, to be more precise. It was the largest repair bill in Britain’s history, according to reports, and took a year to rebuild.
10. Eddie Griffin
Stand-up comedian and actor, Eddie Griffin wanted to “give back” to the community by racing a car at the Irwindale Speedway. He was also promoting one of his films at the time. In order to race, he needed a fast car, so a Ferrari Enzo was loaned to him by Daniel Sadek. While he was practicing, Eddie lost control of the Ferrari and smashed it right into a concrete wall on the track. Nobody was injured, but it’s doubtful that he will be lent another two million dollar car anytime soon.
9. Conrad Hilton
The brother of Paris Hilton, Conrad, was speeding on a California freeway in September. According to reports, he was travelling at almost 200 miles per hour and ended up hitting two cars during the process. Conrad walked away from the scene of the accident, but they had to use the “jaws of life” in order to get him out of the car. He did fracture his hand, but nothing major considering how fast as he was driving.
8. Jackson Pollock
One of the most renowned artists of the 20th century was Jackson Pollock, who resided in New York during his lifetime. He was known for his abstract images, and was criticized many times over the way he painted. Jackson was also known for having more than one or two drinks at a time, and that problem is what caused his death in 1956. Jackson was driving while under the influence when he was in his hometown, and crashed into a tree. He died shortly after, at the age of 44.
7. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
Early on in life, Lisa Lopes always believed that helping others and singing is what she wanted to do. During her first days with the group TLC, she would wear a condom over her glasses, to replace the left lens in order to promote safe sex. This is where she developed the nickname, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. In 2002, she was driving a rented Mitsubishi and swerved to avoid hitting another car. This caused Lisa to go off road, hitting trees and throwing her out of the vehicle after it rolled multiple times. She died shortly afterwards due to head and neck injuries. Her passenger was recording a video at the time and captured the entire occurrence on tape.
6. Cliff Burton
Cliff Burton was the original bass player for Metallica, back when the band first started in the 1980s, and performed on several albums. In 1986, Metallica was on tour in Sweden when the bus they were in lost control and flew off the road. Cliff was asleep in the top bunk at the time and was thrown from the bus, leaving him pinned underneath it. The rest of the band was not injured heavily, but Cliff died at the scene of the accident.
5. James Dean
Teen idol of the 50s, James Dean, was involved in a tragic car crash that ended his life in 1955. James was also an automobile racer, and was driving to an event on the day of the horrific scene. He was driving his Porsche 550 Spyder to the race, instead of having it hauled via trailer. His mechanic suggested that he needed to “break in” his new Porsche, so James would be used to it once he arrived at the racetrack. He was speeding down route 466, when he crashed essentially head-on with a 1950 Ford Tudor coupe. James died before he reached the hospital for treatment.
4. Jayne Mansfield
During the 1950s, Jayne Mansfield was considered one of the sexiest women in Hollywood. She was an actress who had won a Golden Globe and even dated a few of the Kennedy men. In 1967, Jayne was with her family when the Buick Electra 225 they were riding in hit the back end of a semi-truck on U.S. Highway 90 in Louisiana. Jayne, the man she was dating and the driver, all died instantly when the Buick went underneath the semi’s tractor-trailer, but her children who happened to be in the backseat, did not get seriously hurt. Even though Jayne had died a horrible death; it was not in vain. After she had passed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggested an ICC bar, otherwise known as the Interstate Commerce Commission bar, or the “Mansfield” bar. This is supposed to be used on all tractor-trailers to prevent cars from going beneath them.
3. Grace Kelly
Another beautiful actress from the 50s was Grace Kelly. She was known for her grace and good looks, and appeared in several top movies of the time; including To Catch a Thief and Rear Window. She married a prince at the age of 26, and therefor was referred to as “Princess” Grace of Monaco. When Grace was 52, she was with her daughter, Stephanie in southern France, when the car she was driving went off the road, down the side of a cliff and “somersaulting” the entire time. Grace later died in the hospital, due to several fractures and complications because of the accident. Her daughter was unable to make it to her mother’s funeral since she was in the hospital at the time, but miraculously, Stephanie survived the fatal car crash.
2. Paul Walker
As a young child, Paul Walker got his start in acting as a baby in a diaper commercial. He continued working as an actor for almost four decades, mostly known for his portrayal of an undercover police officer in The Fast and the Furious movies. Paul was also involved in several charities, and spent a great deal of time with his co-star, Vin Diesel, when he was not filming. One day in 2013, Paul was with his friend and financial advisor, Roger Rodas, when Roger’s Porsche Carrera GT smashed into a light pole, in California. According to reports, the driver was travelling between 80-90 miles per hour around a curve, and after the impact the car burst into flames. Both drivers were killed in the accident.
1. Diana, Princess of Wales
In the 1980s, Princess Diana, or “Princess Di,” as she was commonly called, was one of the most charitable and famous women in the world. Given this fact, the paparazzi were routinely paid top dollar for capturing the princess on camera, and would frequently go out of their way to get her picture. On August 31, 1997, Princess Di was riding in a car through Paris, France. It was said that she was being chased by the paparazzi trying to capture photographs of the princess, and they were merely trying to outrun them. While driving through a tunnel, the car crashed into a wall, killing the Princess. According to sources, the driver had a blood-alcohol level that was well above the legal drinking limit, and that may have had something to do with the outcome.