Celebrities who have died in car crashes bring about a lot of media attention. Fans are shocked to learn their favorite celebrity has died in such a horrible way. Some may even try to imagine what it was like for their favorite celebrity in their final moments and look for all available information concerning the accident, which isn’t hard to do these days.
With over 43,000 Americans dying in car accidents each year – and close to a million world-wide – it’s inevitable that occasionally someone well known would “buy the farm” from behind the wheel (or as a passenger) in an automobile.
Known as the “working man’s Marilyn Monroe”, this buxomly blond was a major Hollywood sex symbol of the 50s and 60s, rivaling even the more famous Monroe (who preceded her with her own untimely death five years earlier).
A major star of both stage and screen by the mid 50s, with the decrease in demand for big-breasted blonde bombshells and the increase in the negative backlash against her over-publicity, she had become a box-office has-been by the time of her death in 1967.
Riding with her manager and another man (with her three young children asleep in the back seat) near Slidell, Louisiana, their 1966 Buick Electra rear ended a slow-moving tractor-trailer in the dark, killing all three adults in the front seat. (Her children, asleep at the time, all survived with minor injuries.) Rumors that she had been decapitated proved to be untrue (though she was effectively scalped, which was probably the source of the rumors).
Lady Diana Spencer
Few celebrity deaths were as controversial as that of the one-time Princess of Wales, Lady Diana Spencer (often referred to as “Lady Di”) who died alongside her fiancée, Egyptian magnate Dodi Fayed, and their driver in an underground tunnel in Paris on August 31st, 1997.
It was reported the entourage were fleeing the paparazzi at the time of the crash, with speeds reaching triple digits, before their Mercedes hit a concrete pylon, killing three of the car’s four occupants.
Her funeral not only became a media sensation a few days later, but her death has created a flurry of conspiracy theories that continue to swirl to this day, the most outrageous being that she was assassinated to prevent the increasingly outspoken ex-royal from revealing closely guarded family secrets.
All such rumors (including one that she was murdered by the British Intelligence service MI5) were found to be baseless, the cause of the crash being attributed primarily to the actions of the driver, who was intoxicated at the time
Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco
It was the perfect Hollywood story: starlet of the silver screen marries European prince and becomes a princess in real life. Only no one would have ever imagined the tragic ending for this 1950s equivalent of Charles and Lady Di (see no. 10) who, ironically, would share similar fates.
Driving along the serpentine highways of Monaco (a small, coastal principality on the southern coast of France) with her daughter Stephanie, her majesty apparently suffered a stroke and drove down a mountainside, killing her and badly injuring the 25 year old Stephanie.