Famous figures tend to create buzz due to a wide range of reasons. Fans are seemingly always interested in their entertaining work, rumor-sparking relationships, and jaw-dropping antics. However, from time to time, stars make headlines for other reasons, ones they didn’t plan on and surely would have rather avoided. For example, plenty of pieces have been written regarding certain celebrities who survived brushes with death and the same can be said for the sad instances when stars were involved in deadly car accidents.
Although accidents can happen anywhere, when it comes to the United States, it’s “one of the busiest countries in terms of road traffic with nearly 280 million vehicles in operation and more than 227.5 million drivers holding a valid driving license,” according to Statista. Beyond that, the sheer amount of traffic in the U.S. “is one of the reasons leading to more traffic accidents: In 2018, there were some 12 million vehicles involved in crashes in the United States.” Fortunately, the number of traffic accidents decreased in the following years, per the United States Department of Transportation.
Granted, the overall number of accidents that happen across the nation isn’t what comes up when individuals are involved in a car crash. Each incident is unfortunate and can, at times, be downright tragic depending on the outcome. Just take a look at the following stars who survived car accidents without a scratch, some who miraculously recovered from terrifying collisions, and others who walked away when some weren’t so fortunate.
Jeffree Star's car hit black ice and flipped three times
In 2020, Jeffree Star purchased a home far from his California residence when he picked up a 70-acre ranch in Casper, Wyoming, according to Variety. Unfortunately, it was in Wyoming where the YouTuber and makeup entrepreneur was involved in a car crash while driving with his friend Daniel Lucas in April 2021.
Jeremy Beck, Sergeant with the Wyoming Highway Patrol, confirmed with Oil City News “that Star and another individual were involved in a rollover crash on Natrona County’s Hat Six Road,” and that they “hit a patch of slush, slid, and eventually rolled.” To be exact, Star’s car reportedly “flipped three times after hitting black ice,” per a tweet sent out via his account. As a result, he ended up in the hospital and tweeted about his condition, writing, “I’m in excruciating pain because part of my back is broken and I have vertebrae fractures on my spine.”
While the online celebrity was clearly seriously injured, he also put his fans at ease as he revealed in a tweet that he’s expected to make a full recovery in a “few months” and added that he’s “grateful” to be alive.
Tiger Woods had to be pulled from a crash by firefighters
In February 2021, Tiger Woods was seriously injured in a car accident in L.A. County. According to TMZ, officials stated that “at approximately 7:12 AM, LASD responded to a single-vehicle roll-over traffic collision.” Apparently, the star — who was alone at the time — was traveling down a particularly curvy road and had been “speeding as fast as 87 mph, or more than 45 mph faster than the legal speed limit,” CNBC reported.
The golf icon, who is tied for the most wins in PGA Tour history as of writing, suffered “serious injuries to both legs” and had “to be extricated by firefighters and paramedics,” according to The Wall Street Journal. He was then taken to the hospital for surgery.
As of this time, it’s unclear how well Woods will recover from the crash and whether or not he will make a full return to the sports’ spotlight. However, two months after the crash, a source told Us Weekly, “Tiger is in better spirits now than he was directly following the accident. He’s seen progress in his recovery, is back at home, and is hopeful.” The star himself shared an update on Instagram on April 23, 2021, posting a photo of himself on crutches standing beside his dog as the two stood on the green. “My course is coming along faster than I am,” he wrote. “But it’s nice to have a faithful rehab partner, man’s best friend.”
Kevin Hart was seriously injured during a fatal crash
Kevin Hart became another star who survived a serious accident when he was involved in a car crash in Calabasas, California. When the accident happened in September 2019, the comedian and star of “Jumanji: The Next Level” was not behind the wheel of his classic 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, which he had purchased for his birthday in July of that year. The car that he had dubbed “Menace” in an Instagram post was instead being driven by his friend, Jared Black, while his fiancee, Rebecca Broxterman, and Hart were along for the ride.
According to the AP, investigators found that Black “accelerated and lost control” on a highway in Malibu and the Barracuda “careened down an embankment and slammed into a tree.” What made things worse for those who were involved is the fact that, according to investigators, it looked like nobody had been wearing a seatbelt.
The comedian was fortunate to walk away with his life, but he did not remain unscathed. Hart sustained back injuries from the car crash, according to People. In turn, he had to have back surgery and was in the hospital for 10 days before being released to recover in a rehabilitation facility. Hart didn’t seem to hold any hard feelings towards his friend as he released a statement via the AP, saying, “I have nothing but love for Jared and wish him and Rebecca a speedy recovery.”
Mindy Kaling's fans wanted photos after her accident
Mindy Kaling has found a lot of success thanks to her roles on shows like “The Office” and “The Mindy Project” and in movies like “A Wrinkle in Time” and “Ocean’s 8,” not to mention her work behind the scenes as a writer and producer. However, her fame worked against her in a way when she was involved in an accident in 2019. While driving alone “an hour before she was supposed to sit down for an interview with Variety, Kaling was involved in a car crash in Los Angeles’ Hancock Park,” according to that very outlet.
Apparently, Kaling was “accused of running a stop sign and colliding into the vehicle of a woman.” The Blast reported that the person who was driving the other vehicle “claim[ed] Kaling’s ‘reckless conduct’ caused severe damage to [her] car” and said that she had “suffered ‘grave bodily injury.'”
Although Kaling wasn’t seriously injured, she did have to endure some public awkwardness as she was approached by fans who wanted to get a photo with the famous figure while she was waiting for a tow truck to arrive. “When you get in a car accident on Highland and Fourth and your car is totaled, and looky-loos come up and ask to take a photo with you, then you wish you weren’t everyone’s best friend,” she admitted, according to Variety. Fair enough!
Kris Jenner wrecked her new and pricey Rolls-Royce
Keeping up with the Kardashian-Jenners sometimes means being in-the-know when they’re involved in things other than season premieres and fabulous family shin-digs. For instance, in 2016, Kris Jenner was involved in a car crash, which would have been buzz-worthy enough. However, what made it seriously cringey is the fact that the famous momager totaled her $250,000 Rolls-Royce that she’d only had for a week. Indeed, while driving in Calabasas, California in her fancy new ride, “a vehicle driving eastbound turned in front of the reality star in an attempt to get on the southbound 101 freeway,” according to People. And then, Jenner hit the other car.
TMZ released a photograph that showed the damage to the star’s vehicle and it was clear that the entire side had been crushed and crunched. Pieces of the car had not only broken off, but were scattered on the road around the vehicle. While that was surely not something that Jenner was happy to see, she was feeling fortunate about the fact that she had not been seriously injured. She told People, “I’m okay, just shaken up and very sore. I’m feeling very blessed. God is so good.”
Right after the crash, a mistaken tweet was sent out that claimed it was actually Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian, and Jenner’s partner Corey Gamble that were involved in the accident. But Kylie quickly responded on Twitter to clarify that her mom was the only member of their family in the crash.
A woman died when Caitlyn Jenner hit a car
In 2015, Caitlyn Jenner was in a car crash and while she survived, it sadly ended up being fatal for one person involved. The former Olympian, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” alum, and producer of “I am Cait” was driving one of several vehicles involved in an accident in Malibu. According to CNN, during the incident, a 69-year-old woman named Kimberly Howe “was driving her Lexus when Jenner’s SUV hit her car from behind, sending it into oncoming traffic where it was hit by another SUV.” Multiple people suffered injuries, and Howe died at the scene.
As for Jenner, the star walked away without any serious harm and was never charged for the crash. However, in 2018, ABC News reported that she was sued and, in turn, paid out an $800,000 settlement. Jenner’s lawyer, Blair Berk, explained at the time, “We believed from the start that a thorough and objective investigation would clear Caitlyn of any criminal wrongdoing.” He added, “A traffic accident, however devastating and heartbreaking when a life is lost, is not necessarily a criminal matter.”
Halle Berry was involved in a hit-and-run
Halle Berry was given “three years’ probation, fined $13,500 and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service” in 2000 due to her involvement in a hit-and-run, according to the Los Angeles Times. Berry reportedly ran a red light and collided with another vehicle before leaving the scene with, as the Los Angeles Times wrote, “a forehead gash that required 22 stitches.”
Heta Raythatha, whose car Berry hit and who ended up with a fractured wrist as well as neck and back pain, told People, “I really was very petrified when that smoke was going up in my car and I could not get out.” As for Berry’s sentence, Raythatha added, “If it was me, I don’t think that I would have gotten off so lightly.” Apparently, Berry was also involved in a collision in 1997, according to People. In that situation, Berry faced a lawsuit from the other person involved, Kevin Ackerman, however, he later had it dismissed.
Despite the fact that Berry was relatively unharmed in both accidents doesn’t mean that she remained unscathed. When she made an appearance on ”Live With Regis and Kathie Lee,” comedian Howie Mandel was filling in as host and made a joke about Berry bumping into him in the hallway and “not saying anything, she just left the scene.” On the morning chat show, she called Mandel out for his “disrespect” and received an apology from the “America’s Got Talent” judge.
Morgan Freeman had to be freed with the jaws of life
In 2008, while in Mississippi, Morgan Freeman was behind the wheel when he got in a serious accident. Reuters explained that the car, which belonged to his passenger, Demaris Meyer, “careened off a highway and rolled several times.” According to the Los Angeles Times, a witness told the AP that when emergency services arrived, they had to use the jaws of life to retrieve the actor.
Apparently, the Oscar winner was still in good spirits even when emergency crews were helping him and Meyer. According to Reuters, “When Freeman, lying prone on a backboard, noticed onlookers taking pictures with cell phones, [an eye witness] said he heard the actor joke, ‘No freebies, no freebies.'”
After Freeman had been freed from the wreck, the star had to be flown to a hospital and later needed surgery due to the fact that his arm and elbow were broken while his shoulder was also injured. In a statement obtained by the Los Angeles Times, his publicist said, “He is having a little bit of surgery this afternoon or tomorrow to help correct the damage. He says he’ll be OK and is looking forward to a full recovery.”
Soulja Boy's car almost ended up in the sea
Soulja Boy was in a rather unusual car accident in 2019, however, it was surely no less jarring than any other. What made the accident so unusual was the fact that it wasn’t caused by a crash but instead involved a scary nature-based situation. While driving in Malibu, California, Soulja Boy ran into some serious rain which led to mudslides and flash floods, according to People. What made it worse was that he happened to have been in a precarious spot. The hip-hop star tweeted about the terrifying incident, writing, “My car got stuck … almost went into the ocean.”
Some sections of Southern California were more at risk when it came to the heavy mudslides due to the fact that they had been hit hard during the wildfires that had ravaged the area earlier that year. In 2018, California resident Oprah Winfrey showed just how much damage mudslides can cause when she posted a video on Instagram of her backyard engulfed in the mud with debris scattered about.
As for Soulja Boy, he took to Instagram to post a picture of his car absolutely stuck in a mound of mud with a few other vehicles. Luckily, he was able to walk away safely from the accident and again hopped onto Instagram to tell his fans and followers, “I’m just thankful to be alive. I don’t care about the car it’s materialistic you can’t take it with you when you’re gone.”
Tracy Morgan was involved in two terrible car accidents
Tracy Morgan was in two separate car accidents within five years of each other. Some fans may remember that the star was involved in an incident in 2019 that made major headlines. While it was described as a “very minor traffic accident where two cars were basically side by side, and as the light turned green the cars touched” and “[t]hey rubbed slightly,” according to BuzzFeed News, it was a big deal due to the fact that the car that the star was in was a $2 million Bugatti that he’d just bought that same day. Forbes noted that it would have cost around $32,000 to fix the damage to his pricey ride.
However, back in 2014, when the limo van that they were riding in was hit by a Walmart truck, Morgan sustained a brain injury and comedian James McNair was killed. The truck’s driver had gone 28 hours without sleep and those in the limo van didn’t have their seatbelts on, according to CNN. Morgan was fortunate to survive the crash as he “was in a coma after the accident and suffered broken ribs, a broken nose, a broken leg, and brain trauma.”
Five years after the horrific accident, Morgan tweeted a touching message thanking those around him, writing, “I am eternally grateful for the love and support they give me. My wife, daughter, sons, and friends are what got me back on my feet.”
David Spade's Range Rover ended up in a scary spin
David Spade ended up in the hospital in 2017 when, according to Us Weekly, another car sent his into a spin when he was driving in the Beverly Hills area. Three cars were actually involved and a witness at the scene told Us Weekly that when the star was taken away, “He seemed OK. He just looked scared and shaken up.” Another source added, “David was released from the hospital with a few aches and pains and bruises but seems fine and is resting at home now.”
The accident apparently totaled Spade’s Range Rover and actually ripped his back wheel off of the axel which sent it across the street, as seen in pictures released by TMZ.
The comedian and “Saturday Night Live” alum was able to make light of the terrible accident while he was on “The Ellen Show.” He recalled the entire crash while chatting with the host and her audience, sparing no details. He revealed that even after he was helped out of his vehicle and checked by paramedics, he was given the option of going to the hospital or walking home. Spade, who was actually on his way to dinner, said, “How ’bout this? I was supposed to meet my friends for dinner, will you just drop me off?” The paramedics agreed, but Spade later discovered he had a broken rib so it probably would have been better if he’d taken that ride to the hospital.
Matthew Broderick hit a car and two women were killed
Back in 1987, Matthew Broderick and his then-fiancee and “Ferris Bueller” co-star Jennifer Grey (who was just about to start publicity for “Dirty Dancing”) were involved in a fatal car crash in Ireland. As People reported at the time, the couple was driving in Ireland when Broderick crashed into another car. As a result, Broderick ended up with cuts on his face and a broken leg while Grey received minor bruises on her body. Sadly, in the vehicle that Broderick hit was 28-year-old Anna Gallagher, and her mother, 63-year-old Margaret Doherty, who were both killed.
Apparently, while being administered first aid at the scene, Broderick’s wasn’t only worried about himself or his passenger. Firefighter Ken Ramsey told People that “his main concern was for the people in the other car. He kept saying ‘Did I hurt them? Did I hurt them?'”
In 1988, the star was charged with “causing death by careless driving,” according to AP, but that was eventually “reduced to careless driving” and he ended up with a $175 fine. At the trial, which Broderick did not have to attend, his attorney at the time told the judge, “It is a tragic situation and no one will ever know exactly what happened. I am instructed to indicate that Broderick will always feel extremely upset.″
Brandy blamed herself for an accident that killed a woman
In December 2006, Billboard reported Brandy Norwood was operating one of four cars in an accident that resulted in tragedy. According to the report, the award-winning R&B singer “failed to slow down and struck the back of a 2005 Honda at about 65 mph.” A 38-year-old woman named Awatef Aboudihaj died following the accident.
Brandy was reportedly frantic at the scene of the incident. “She got upset, talking about how it was all her fault … she didn’t stop, kept saying how she hit the lady,” a witness told TMZ. “Brandy walked in front of traffic, crossing the lanes of speeding cars, then she did it again. People were honking at her to get out of the road. She was obviously disoriented and highly upset.”
While Brandy could have been given a year in jail as well as a $1,000 fine if she was convicted of vehicular manslaughter, she was ultimately never charged in relation to the accident because there wasn’t enough evidence, according to Reuters. In a 2014 interview for “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” Brandy talked about the devastating crash that cost someone their life, admitting, “I don’t think that’s something I could ever get over or ever truly understand, but that was one of the worst times in my life.”
Prince Philip flipped his Land Rover
In January 2017, prior to Prince Philip’s death in April 2021, the royal got into a car accident not far from his family’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England. Philip, who was 97 years old at the time, flipped his Land Rover and was left “conscious but very shocked and shaken,” according to The Guardian.
A statement from Buckingham Palace addressed the incident, telling the public that the Duke of Edinburgh was uninjured, however, Norfolk police stated that the “female driver of the [other car involved in the accident] suffered cuts while the female passenger sustained an arm injury” and “both requiring hospital treatment,” according to The Guardian. Although Philip wasn’t charged for what had happened, he did send an apology to the woman who had broken her arm. According to Mirror, Queen Elizabeth’s husband wrote a 181-word letter to Emma Fairweather, writing, “I would like you to know how very sorry I am for my part in the accident.”
However, that wasn’t the end of the situation. The car crash sparked questions regarding whether or not Philip should still be driving. Perhaps, as a result of the accident and the public scrutiny over the safety of having the prince behind the wheel of a vehicle, one month after the accident, a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace released a statement (via The New York Times) saying that “the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving license.”
Venus Williams wasn't charged for her part in a fatal crash
Venus Williams is another famous figure who avoided charges related to a fatal car accident. The professional tennis player also reached a settlement in a wrongful death suit that was brought forth after a June 2017 crash, according to CNN. A passenger in the other car named Jerome Barson died two weeks after the accident.
In the wrongful death lawsuit, Barson’s family stated that his injuries were extensive, including “severed main arteries, massive internal bleeding, a fractured spine, and massive internal organ damage,” which led to his death, per CNN. In 2018, NBC News reported that documents at a Palm Beach County court “show[ed] that the case was closed,” but the “terms of the agreement between Williams and the estate of Jerome Barson, 78, weren’t included in the documents.”
Williams, who was uninjured in the crash, was obviously distraught over the accident and was “visibly shaken” and “began to cry” when asked by reporters about the incident at Wimbledon in 2017, CNN noted. She told reporters, “There are really no words to describe, like, how devastating and — yeah. I’m completely speechless. It’s just …” Really, sometimes there are no words to describe how one feels about such a tragic event.
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