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Medical Examiner Says Tom Petty Died of an Accidental Drug Overdose


A statement posted on tompetty.com and a news release from the L.A. County Medical Examiner said musician Tom Petty died of an accidental drug overdose of several medications.

The statement from Petty’s widow and daughter, which also was posted on Facebook, said Petty, 66, had suffered several ailments before his October 3 death. According to the statement from Dana Petty, his wife, and Adria Petty, his daughter,

Despite this painful injury he insisted on keeping his commitment to his fans and he toured for 53 dates with a fractured hip and, as he did, it worsened to a more serious injury. On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full-on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication.

We knew before the report was shared with us that he was prescribed various pain medications for a multitude of issues including fentanyl patches and we feel confident that this was, as the coroner found, an unfortunate accident.

As a family we recognize this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that it is a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way this report can save lives. Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications.”

Petty also suffered from coronary artery atherosclerosis and emphysema and the news release said the autopsy found these drugs in Petty’s system:

acetyl fentanyl
despropionyl fentanyl (opioids)
temazepam (sedative)
alprazolam (sedative)
citalopram (an antidepressant)

He must have been in such great pain to take so many pills at once. Acetyl fentanyl has not been approved for medical use in the U.S. at all and there are no studies on human use safety.

Petty collapsed at his home in Malibu and was taken to UCLA Medical Center, where he died October 3, not long before Tom Petty & the Hearbreakers finished a summer tour with three performances at the Hollywood Bowl.

Below is a video from one of their last performances together this summer.

(Photo, YouTube; via CNN)

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