Tom Petty Died From Accidental Overdose
The Gainesville, FL singer passed away October 2 at the age of 66 in a Santa Monica, CA hospital after being found unconscious and in cardiac arrest at his Malibu home.
The Los Angeles Times reports an autopsy found that Petty had several drugs in his system, including fentanyl, oxycodone, temazepam, alprazolam, citalopram, acetylfentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl.
Petty had been prescribed the drugs to treat emphysema, knee issues, a fractured hip and coronary artery atherosclerosis - a buildup of plaque that restricts blood flow to the arteries that supply the heart with blood.
In a joint statement by Petty's widow, Dana, and daughter, Adria, the pair reveal the details from a meeting with representatives from the Medical Examiner's Office that provide some context and background to the rocker's loss.
"Our family sat together this morning with the Medical Examiner - Coroner's office and we were informed of their final analysis that Tom Petty passed away due to an accidental drug overdose as a result of taking a variety of medications," begin Dana and Adria. "Unfortunately Tom's body suffered from many serious ailments including emphysema, knee problems and, most significantly, a fractured hip.
"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," the Petty's continue, "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.
"On a positive note, we now know for certain he went painlessly and beautifully exhausted after doing what he loved the most, for one last time, performing live with his unmatchable rock band for his loyal fans on the biggest tour of his 40-plus-year career. He was extremely proud of that achievement in the days before he passed."
"We continue to mourn with you and marvel at Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' incredible positive impact on music and the world. And we thank you all for your love and support over the last months," they add. "Thank you also for respecting the memory of a man who was truly great during his time on this planet both publicly and privately. We would be grateful if you could respect the privacy of the entire Heartbreaker family during this difficult time." Read more here.
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