Anton Yelchin’s Death Officially Ruled an Accident

Anton Yelchin
Andrew Walker/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Anton Yelchin’s death early Sunday morning has officially been ruled an accident, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office confirmed on Tuesday.

The actor, 27, died of “blunt traumatic asphyxia” after being pinned between a brick mailbox pillar and a security fence after his car, a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, rolled down his driveway at his Studio City home. The Los Angeles Police Department previously announced that Yelchin appeared to exit his car and was behind it before it rolled down the steep driveway.

Following his death, Fiat Chrysler announced it would investigate the incident. The vehicle had previously been recalled by the company due to a “rollaway risk.”

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In April, the automobile manufacturer recalled select 2014 and 2015 Jeep Cherokees for a transmission issue that made it possible for the cars to roll away after being shifted into the “park” gear. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated several incidents of the reported “rollaways.”

“Drivers erroneously concluding that their vehicle’s transmission is in the ‘park’ position may be struck by the vehicle and injured if they attempt to get out of the vehicle while the engine is running and the parking brake is not engaged,” the NHTSA said in a report about the issue.

The incident is being investigated as a traffic collision, the LAPD previously told Variety, which means it’s standard practice to investigate the vehicle in question for mechanical faults. The investigation is ongoing.

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  1. Matt says:

    Terrible tragedy. Sad thing is Jeeps cost upwards of $70,000. Good job guys!

  2. Late-model Jeep vehicles have a feature known as ‘Auto Lock.’ This feature automatically locks your Jeep’s doors when the gearshift moves from “Park” to “Drive.” When the gearshift is returned to ‘Park,’ the doors automatically unlock.”–How to Turn Off Automatic Door Locks on a Jeep When It is Put in Gear

    [PRIMARY UNASKED QUESTION: How could driver of 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee exit vehicle without first putting car into park?]

  3. Bill B. says:

    Expect a major lawsuit.

  4. CNU says:

    “a transmission issue that made it possible for the cars to roll away after being shifted into the “park” gear.”

    This is a clear misstatement of the problem. Making the misstatement worse is the fact in the following paragraph the true issue was clearly laid out.

    “Drivers erroneously concluding that their vehicle’s transmission is in the ‘park’ position”

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