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9 Stars Who Tragically Died in Car Accidents — from Paul Walker to Princess Diana

It came as a great shock when news hit that Paul Walker of the Fast and the Furious franchise had died in a car accident in California on Saturday. The 40-year-old movie star (and father to a 15-year-old girl) was killed instantly when the Porsche he was riding in hit a utility pole and exploded. The car reportedly had been speeding at the time of the crash.

It was a tragic end to such a bright star, and it is a story that has — sadly — happened many times before. Celebrities often live fast and die young, and there have been several high-profile car accidents that have taken the lives of the rich and famous, from Princess Diana to James Dean.

Here are 9 stars whose lives were tragically cut short due to auto accidents:

 

  • Paul Walker 1 of 9
    "Fast & Furious 6" World Premiere - Arrivals

    40-year-old Paul Walker of the Fast and Furious franchise was killed in a tragic accident in Santa Clarita, California. He was a passenger in a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT which was driven by his racing team partner. The car reportedly swerved, hit a poll, and exploded. There is no clear cause of the accident yet, but there are reports that speeding and/or drag racing may have been involved.

     

    Photo Source: PR Photos

  • Princess Diana 2 of 9
    Princess Diana File Photos

    The death of Princess Diana rocked the world and was a shocking end to a very famous life.  The "people's Princess" was killed at the age of 36 in a car accident on August 30th, 1997 in Paris. Princess Diana, her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, and their chauffeur met their end when their car, which was being chased by paparazzi, crashed in a tunnel. According to reports, their driver was going about 80 MPH through the narrow tunnel and lost control of the car.

     

    Photo Source: PR Photos

  • Ryan Dunn 3 of 9
    Ryan Dunn Dies At 34  (1977-2011)

    Jackass star Ryan Dunn died at the age of 34 in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania. He and a passenger were killed after Dunn's 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 crashed into a guardrail at 3 a.m. after he reportedly was driving at speeds of 130 MPH.

     

    Photo Source: PR Photos

  • James Dean 4 of 9
    James_Dean_in_East_of_Eden_trailer_2

    James Dean fans were completely shocked when the 24-year-old died in a car crash on September 30th, 1955. Dean was driving his Porsche Spyder convertible in Cholame, CA heading to a race in Salinas, CA. His car collided with another at an intersection. But the story doesn't end their, the Porsche was then thought to be "cursed." History.com writes

    "After the accident, the car rolled off the back of a truck and crushed the legs of a mechanic standing nearby. Later, after a used-car dealer sold its parts to buyers all over the country, the strange incidents multiplied: The car's engine, transmission and tires were all transplanted into cars that were subsequently involved in deadly crashes, and a truck carrying the Spyder's chassis to a highway-safety exhibition skidded off the road, killing its driver. The remains of the car vanished from the scene of that accident and haven't been seen since."

    Photo Source: Wiki Commons

  • Jayne Mansfield 5 of 9
    91bxgjq8hbL._SL1500_

    Blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield tragically died when she was traveling from Biloxi, Mississippi to New Orleans. The car she was riding in hit the rear of a trailer truck, killing Mansfield, her companion Samuel S. Brody, and the driver. Mansfield's children — 8-year-old Mickey, 6-year-old Zoltan, and 3-year-old Marie (actress Mariska Hargitay) — reportedly were asleep in the backseat and were unharmed.

     

    Photo Source: Amazon / Poster available here

  • Marc Bolan 6 of 9
    51N+PAuLcOL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

    Singer and musician Mark Bolan of T-Rex fame died on September 16, 1977, right before his 30th birthday. With his girlfriend Gloria Jones behind the wheel, their car hit a tree while they were traveling home from dinner. Mark Bolan was killed instantly. The crash site is now known as the Bolan Rock Shrine Memorial and has a statue there in his honor. 

     

    Photo Source: Amazon/ Book Available here

  • Jackson Pollock 7 of 9
    41S0N67CYTL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

    Legendary painter Jackson Pollock died in a tragic car accident on August 11, 1956. The artist has reportedly been drinking and with two passengers, he drove his car into a tree about a mile from his house. He reportedly was thrown from the car and about 50 feet into the air and died when he hit a birch tree.

     

    Photo Source: Amazon / Book available here

  • Grace Kelly 8 of 9
    471px-Kelly,_Grace_(Rear_Window)

    On September 13, 1982 the iconic actress Grace Kelly was killed when the Rover 3500 she was driving went off a cliff on a winding road in Monaco. Kelly and her daughter Stephanie were headed to the train station to go to Paris where her 17-year-old would start school. Grace Kelly died after the car's 120-foot crash through the trees and off the slope. Her daughter survived but has many injuries.

     

     Photo Source: Wiki Commons

  • Lisa Left Eye Lopes 9 of 9
    71ETTMIlERL._SL1500_

    TLC member Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes died in a car accident at the age of 30 back in 1992. She was in Honduras and was driving a rented Mitsubishi Montero SUV with 8 other passengers. Lopes lost control of the car and it tipped over. Lopes died when she hit her head, while all of her passengers survived.

     

    Photo Source: Amazon/ Available here

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