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We’ve lost many celebrities unexpectedly over the years. These are ten famous people who died in car crashes, some at the hands of others, and some while they were doing what they truly loved most. Read through this list and let us know if you can think of any other tragic celebrity car accidents.

1. Paul Walker

The blue-eyed Fast and Furious actor tragically died at age 40 in a deadly car crash. In November 2013, when Walker was leaving his own charity event, Reach Out Worldwide for victims of Typhoon Haiyan, he took a ride with professional race car driver Roger Rodas. Rodas’s red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT crashed into a concrete lamppost and burst into flames. Both men died at the scene.

paul walker
Miguel Campos /

2. Princess Diana

The infamous car crash in the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris that killed Princess Diana of Wales took place in August 1997. She was fatally injured when her driver, who was accused of being drunk, lost control of the car due to the aggressive pursuit of the paparazzi. Speculation arose around her death stating that it was a murder planned by the MI6 as well as the Duke of Edinburgh. However in 2008, it was ruled an “unlawful killing” and gross negligence by Princess Diana’s driver by a London jury.

famous people who died in car crashes
RitchardD /

3. Lisa Lopes

In April 2002, TLC group member, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was driving a rented vehicle in Honduras when she swerved to the right to avoid a truck then immediately to the left as she tried to avoid an oncoming car. The vehicle rolled several times after hitting two trees, throwing Lopes and three others out of the windows. Lopes died of neck injuries and severe head trauma. She was the only person fatally injured in the accident.

famous people who died in car crashes
Everett Collection /

4. Ryan Dunn

Jackass star, Ryan Dunn, lost his life behind the wheel on June 20, 2011. He was only 34 years old. Dunn died in a drunk driving accident speeding down the roads of West Goshen Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, when his Porsche veered off the road and hit a tree. His blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

famous people who died in car crashes
Joe Seer /

5. Dale Earnhardt

Dale Earnhardt Sr. unfortunately passed away doing what he loved most, racing cars. Earnhardt died on February 18, 2001 at the age of 49. He died after experiencing severe head trauma due to a car accident in the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.

famous people who died in car crashes

6. Bob Simon

CBS news correspondent, Bob Simon, is the latest celebrity road fatality. Simon died in a devastating car crash in Manhattan last February. After his limo driver lost control of the car, Simon suffered severe head trauma and a broken neck in the crash on the West Side Highway. Ironically, the driver who survived the crash had reportedly had his driver’s license suspended nine times between November 2011 and the time of Simon’s death.

famous people who died in car crashes

7. Bob Clark

Clark is best known for writing and directing the classic 1983 Christmas film A Christmas Story. On the morning of April 4, 2007 Clark and his son were driving on the Pacific Coast Highway when they were struck head-on by an oncoming vehicle. The crash occurred when an SUV crossed the median and struck Clark’s Infiniti I30, causing the closure of the highway for eight hours. The SUV’s driver had a blood alcohol level of three times the legal limit. He was sentenced to six years in prison for vehicular manslaughter.

famous people who died in car crashes

8. James Dean

James Dean was a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment during the 1950s. Jis most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause, demonstrated this. Dean became interested in auto racing in 1954 and was scheduled to race in Salinas, California on September 30, 1955. As he and his entourage were traveling to the event via U.S. Route 466, a vehicle in front of him made a hesitant turn. Dean was unable to stop slamming directly into the side of the Ford Tudor. The young actor suffered a broken neck and was attended to by a passerby before being taken to the hospital. He was pronounced dead on arrival shortly after he arrived at the Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital. Dean’s premature death in the car crash cemented his legendary status. Dean became the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, and remains the only actor to have had two posthumous acting nominations.

famous people who died in car crashes
Katherine Welles /

9. Grace Kelly

Legendary film star Grace Kelly gained stardom from her performance in the film Mogambo which won her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination in 1954. She had leading roles in five films, including The Country Girl, for which her performance earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress. Throughout the 1950s she also starred in High Noon, Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief and High Society with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. Kelly retired from acting at age 26 to become the Princess of Monaco after marrying Prince Rainier III in 1955. When driving home from her country house in Roc Angel to Monaco, Kelly suffered a stroke and lost control of her car. It drove off the steep, winding road and down the 120 ft mountainside. Kelly died the following day on September 14, 1982 from internal bleeding and multiple head injuries. In 1999, Kelly was named 13th on the American Film Institute’s list of the Top Female Stars of American Cinema.

famous people who died in car crashes
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10. Jayne Mansfield

Often cited as Marilyn Monroe’s greatest rival, Mansfield is also the mother of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit actress Mariska Hargitay. Jayne Masfield was one of the most controversial stars of the 1950s and 60s, known for her breast-baring publicity stunts. The American actress starred in film, theater and television. She was also a nightclub entertainer, singer and one of the early Playboy Playmates. Mansfield tragically died while driving with her lover, driver and three of her children from Mississippi to New Orleans in June 1967. Their car slammed into the back of a tractor-trailer that had slowed behind another truck that was spraying mosquito fogger. The car struck the rear of the trailer and went under it. Sadly, the three adults in the front seat were killed instantly. It has been reported that Mansfield was decapitated, however other reports say that is untrue. After her death, the NHTSA recommended requiring an under-ride guard on all tractor-trailers, and today this bar is known as a “Mansfield bar.”

famous people who died in car crashes

Do you know any other famous people who died in car crashes?

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