Modern society likes, no just loves, everything to do with celebrities. We can’t get enough of their antics, whether they are exceptional movie stars, giants on the sports field or simply famous for being famous. We like to watch them succeed, we can’t get enough of their failures and we are fascinated by their crashes – mostly figuratively but sometimes literally.
Celebrity car accidents are often as incredible as they are horrible. They aren’t necessarily worse than the average crash, it’s just that because you know the person, at least through the media, they seem to be more outrageous.
Some celebrities’ driving records are so appalling you’d think they would have legal experts like
GC Traffic Lawyers on speed dial. Here are a few car accidents where the celebrity involved should have had a traffic lawyer on stand-by.
Perhaps the most memorable celebrity car crash concerns movie legend and amateur racing driver James Dean. The star was killed when his Porche Spyder collided head on with another car on a highway outside the California town of Paso Robles in 1955. Dean’s car was doing in excess of 137 kmph (85 mph) when it hit the Ford Tudor of university student Donald Turnupseed. The impact flipped Dean’s car in the air before landing in a gully and sent the other car spiralling 12 metres (39 feet) down the road. Ironically, a few weeks earlier Dean had appeared on a television program urging people to slow down. His last words on screen were: “The life you might save might be mine”. The program never aired.
Sultry Mad Men star January Jones came to the attention of police when she managed to slam her Land Rover into no fewer than three parked cars in a Los Angeles street in 2011. She alighted from the vehicle, onlookers swore, a little unsteady and ‘reeking of alcohol’. That’s where celebrity chef Bobby Flay comes into the story. Witnessing the accident, he stopped and helpfully advised Jones to leave before police arrived. She did, only to return some time later in fresh clothes and smelling of breath mints. Police couldn’t charge her because they could not determine if alcohol had been consumed or, if it had, when.
Not so lucky was Australian fashion designer, former model and ex Packer wife Jodhi Meares when she crashed her luxury four-wheel-drive into four parked cars before flipping her own vehicle on its side. Meares had been to dinner before the accident in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in mid-2014. Witnesses said the Range Rover swerved down the street, narrowly avoided a median strip and then hit the first parked car, before continuing down the road, severely damaging another three. Despite recording a blood alcohol reading 0.181 and being on a suspended licence at the time of the accident, she avoided jail when a magistrate showed her leniency and fined her $1,110 and suspended her licence for 12 months.
So there you have it – proof that everyone does silly things behind the wheel. Of course, if you’re famous, more people are going to know about them.