Tom Petty death ruled accidental painkiller overdose

Petty, the lead singer of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, "suffered from many serious ailments...most significantly a fractured hip", according to a statement released by his family. 

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on 14 August (Photo:Los Angeles Times)
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on 14 August (Photo:Los Angeles Times)

Rock legend Tom Petty died of an accidental overdose of various painkillers, according to a statement issued by his family.

Petty, the lead singer of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, "suffered from many serious ailments...most significantly a fractured hip", according to a statement released by his family. He is believed to have been overusing prescription pain medication when he died in October at the age of 66.

He was also a co-founder of the musical group the Traveling Wilburys in the late 1980s and had recorded albums with the likes of Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and George Harrison.

Petty was found unconscious, not breathing and in full cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu on 2 October. Efforts to revive him failed and he died in hospital later that evening.

Petty's family posted an update on Facebook after meeting with a medical examiner on Friday morning.

"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", the statement said.

"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."

The family said that his death "may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that is a necessary and healthy discussion".

The Los Angeles coroner's office attributed the musician’s death to "multisystem organ failure" due to a "mixed toxicity" of seven medications: fentanyl, oxycodone, emazepam, alprazolam, citalopram, acetyl fentanyl, and despropionyl fentanyl.

 

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