7 High-Profile Celebrity Car Crashes

As Car Accident Lawyers, we know that a car accident can happen to anyone – at any time. This includes celebrities. Throughout the years, there have been a number of high-profile celebrity car accidents in the United States. Our team of personal injury lawyers takes a look at 7 of the most high-profile celebrity car accidents in this article. 

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Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps – the 14-time Olympic Swimming gold medal winner – was involved in a car accident in August of 2009. According to reports at the time, the Cadillac Escalade Phelps was driving in Mid-Town Belvedere in Baltimore, Maryland collided with another vehicle. Serious damage was reported to both Phelp’s vehicle, as well as the Honda Accord of the other driver and a parked car. The female drive of the Honda Accord was taken to the hospital as a precaution. Phelps and the two passengers in the vehicle were reportedly uninjured in the crash. In the wake of the crash, it was reported that Phelps was cited with driving without a driver’s license and failure to establish Maryland residency. 

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Missy Elliot

Missy Elliot – the artist responsible for hit songs such as “Work It” and “The Rain” – had an incident involving her purple Lamborghini Diablo in Virginia in 2001. According to reports, the $300,000 custom Sports Car was being transported from California to Elliot’s Home in Virginia Beach. One of the men involved in this transportation – a 34 year old named Joseph Thomas Henry – decided to take the now discontinued Super Car for a joyride. Three miles from the garage, he lost control of the vehicle, plowing through a stop sign, a tree and over the curb. He was cited for unauthorized use of property, and was ultimately sentenced to over a year in jail and ordered to pay restitution in excess of $170,000. 

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Lindsay Lohan

In 2005, Lindsay Lohan was transported to the hospital with minor injuries following a car crash involving her Mercedes Benz SLG-65 in West Hollywood, California. The 19 year old actress was driving Northbound on Robertson Boulevard around dinner time when she collided with the passenger side of a Chevrolet Astro Van. According to reports, the Astro Van was turning in front of her at the time of impact. Both Lohan, a passenger in her vehicle and the driver of the Astro van were taken to the hospital following the collision. According to the AP, witnesses at the scene claimed that dozens of paparazzi had been following Lohan prior to the crash. 

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Ryan Dunn

Car Crashed often have fatal consequences – especially when excessive speed is involved. This is what is reported to have happened to actor Ryan Dunn in 2011. According to reports, Dunn was reportedly driving 130 miles per hour when he crashed his 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania in 2007. Officers at the time had referred to the crash as the “worst” accident they had ever seen. Among the responses, former Jackass co-star Johnny Knoxville addressed the tragedy on Twitter.  

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Paul Walker

Paul Walker – an actor best known for his role in the hard charging Fast and Furious franchise – was the victim of one of the higher profile celebrity car crashes in recent history. On November 13th, 2013, Walker was a passenger in a Porsche Carrera GT during a break from filming the seventh installment in the popular franchise.  The vehicle collided with a power pole and several trees , fatally injured the 40 year old actor. The Los Angeles County Sheriff concluded that the cause of the collision was “unsafe speed for the roadway conditions.” The vehicle was estimated to be traveling between 80 and 93 miles per hour at the time of impact. In the wake of this tragic death, the family of Walker sued Porsche, citing allegations that the Porsche Carrera is a dangerous car and unfit for the road. In response, Porsche countered saying that the vehicle at issue is safe as manufactured and the vehicle involved here was “abused and altered” prior to the crash. 

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Tracy Morgan

Comedian Tracy Morgan – best known for his work on “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” – was in a serious injury crash on June 7th 2014 on the New Jersey Turnpike. According to reports. Morgan was traveling in a limo bus when it was rear-ended by a Wal-Mart tractor trailer. The crash killed comedy writer Jame McNair. Morgan suffered a broken leg, nose and ribs in the accident. He was in a coma for two weeks following the accident and reports no memory of the incident. Following the coma, Morgan reported having memory trouble, extreme headaches and nosebleeds. In it’s investigation, the NTSB concluded that the driver of the tractor-trailer had failed to sleep prior to the accident – having driven over 800 miles. The crash involved a total of 21 people and 6 vehicles. According the NTSB, this driver had been on duty for over 13 hours on the day of the crash. 

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James Dean

To many – Actor James Dean is an American Icon. Unfortunately, Dean’s life was cut short by a fatal car accident in Cholame, California on September 30th, 1955. At 24 years old, the Porsche 550 Spyder he was driving collided with a Ford Tudor Sedan driven by a 23 year old California Polytechnic Student. At the time of the fatal crash, Dean was reportedly on his way to a car race 90 miles south of San Francisco. There were conflicting reports as to the cause of the accident – but many speculated that speed may have been a factor.  A passenger of Dean’s – Porsche Mechanic Rolf Wutherich – survived the crash but suffered serious injuries. 

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About the Authors: Sawan & Sawan is a Toledo, Ohio based Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Truck Accident, Car Accident and Insurance Law Firm with lawyers licensed to practice in Ohio, Michigan and Georgia.

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At Sawan & Sawan, we offer free initial consultations. We represent clients in Ohio, Georgia, Michigan and Florida. From our family to yours.

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Dennis P. Sawan


Licensed in Ohio and Georgia


Christopher A. Sawan


Licensed in Ohio and Michigan


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