Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose, medical examiner says

Musician Tom Petty died of an accidental drug overdose of several medications, ...

Posted: Jan 21, 2018 12:33 PM
Updated: Jan 21, 2018 12:34 PM

Musician Tom Petty died of an accidental drug overdose of several medications, a statement from his family, posted on tompetty.com, and a news release from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner said Friday.

The family statement, which also was posted on Facebook, said Petty, 66, had suffered several ailments before his October 2 death.

"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," according to the statement from Dana Petty, his wife, and Adria Petty, his daughter.

The medical examiner's news release said the autopsy found these drugs in Petty's system: fentanyl, oxycodone, acetyl fentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl, which are opioids; temazepam and alprazolam, which are sedatives; and citalopram, an antidepressant.

The cause of death was "multisystem organ failure due to resuscitated cardiopulmonary arrest due to mixed drug toxicity" and the manner of death was "accident," the medical examiner's news release said. Petty also suffered from coronary artery atherosclerosis and emphysema, it said.

Acetyl fentanyl has not been approved for medical use in the United States and there are no published studies on safety for human use. It is classified as a schedule I drug.

Fentanyl, a powerful prescription painkiller, has created a national health crisis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that of the more than 64,000 US overdose deaths in 2016 from all drugs, more than 20,000 were attributed to synthetic opioids, many of them related to fentanyl and its variations.

Fentanyl has previously struck the music world. Prince died of an overdose of the drug at his home in 2016.

Petty collapsed at his home in Malibu and was taken to UCLA Medical Center, where he died. At the time, his manager attributed the death to cardiac arrest.

The statement from Petty's wife and daughter 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.

"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 had talked about his drug problems in the past. In a 2015 biography, Petty discussed his struggle with heroin addiction in 1997, following the collapse of his 20-year marriage and a failed album.

"Tried to go cold turkey, and that wouldn't work," Petty said in the book. "It's an ugly f***ing thing."

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers first came to fame in the 1970s, breaking through to the mainstream with their third album, "Damn the Torpedoes."

With that group and as a solo artist, Petty had a string of hits across the decades, including "Free Fallin'," "American Girl" and "I Won't Back Down." The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Petty collaborated with numerous artists over the years, including Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics and the Grateful Dead. He joined fellow music legends Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison in 1988 to form The Traveling Wilburys.

Petty and the Heartbreakers had finished a summer tour with three performances at the Hollywood Bowl not long before his death.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly states the date of Petty's death. He died on October 2, 2017.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74328

Reported Deaths: 3041
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15860725
Lake7570275
Elkhart484384
Allen3902163
St. Joseph350081
Hamilton2763104
Vanderburgh196313
Hendricks1887108
Cass17959
Johnson1757118
Porter131639
Clark123347
Tippecanoe121111
Madison97965
LaPorte91130
Howard89065
Kosciusko85212
Bartholomew79347
Marshall78422
Floyd77946
Monroe75630
Delaware73052
Dubois69612
Boone67846
Noble67829
Hancock66038
Vigo65110
Jackson5865
Warrick58130
LaGrange55910
Shelby55327
Grant52630
Dearborn50828
Morgan47634
Clinton4343
Henry38320
Wayne37710
White36910
Montgomery35421
Lawrence34627
Harrison33823
Decatur33732
Putnam2888
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25034
Jasper2432
Franklin24214
DeKalb2324
Gibson2254
Jennings22512
Steuben2103
Ripley2087
Carroll1912
Fayette1897
Perry18612
Starke1787
Orange17124
Posey1710
Wabash1693
Fulton1682
Wells1682
Jefferson1632
Knox1540
Whitley1526
Washington1401
Tipton13810
Spencer1363
Sullivan1261
Huntington1223
Randolph1224
Clay1215
Newton11810
Adams1012
Jay910
Owen901
Pulaski831
Rush804
Fountain742
Brown731
Ohio655
Blackford642
Benton610
Pike530
Switzerland520
Vermillion520
Parke511
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren221
Unassigned0206

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 100848

Reported Deaths: 3669
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18317524
Cuyahoga13514499
Hamilton9643255
Lucas5348323
Montgomery436294
Summit3555222
Butler292963
Marion292545
Mahoning2554255
Pickaway238742
Stark1827139
Warren178939
Lorain177078
Columbiana165860
Trumbull1524106
Fairfield138732
Delaware130119
Licking128149
Clark114614
Lake111438
Wood104358
Clermont93311
Medina92335
Miami83938
Tuscarawas78214
Portage75861
Allen74044
Greene69012
Belmont62126
Mercer61213
Richland60412
Erie57527
Ashtabula56946
Geauga55644
Wayne53958
Ross4844
Huron3965
Darke39529
Ottawa38626
Hancock3783
Sandusky37716
Madison37410
Athens3571
Holmes3286
Lawrence2830
Auglaize2546
Union2511
Muskingum2361
Jefferson2292
Scioto2261
Seneca2143
Knox2057
Putnam20517
Preble2032
Washington20322
Shelby1944
Coshocton1936
Champaign1762
Crawford1745
Morrow1702
Hardin16512
Clinton1646
Highland1581
Logan1552
Fulton1481
Wyandot1468
Ashland1443
Defiance1444
Williams1353
Perry1303
Brown1292
Hocking1189
Guernsey1177
Henry1172
Fayette1130
Carroll1115
Monroe9318
Pike760
Jackson740
Van Wert711
Paulding690
Gallia651
Adams612
Meigs400
Vinton312
Harrison261
Morgan260
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 96°
Angola
Few Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 94°
Huntington
Scattered Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 92°
Decatur
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 90°
Van Wert
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 90°
Storms return for Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events