Tom Petty’s family reveals the rebel singer died from accidental drug overdose.
Petty, 66, suffered a fatal cardiac arrest in October just days after completing a 40th anniversary tour.
In a statement on his official Facebook page, Petty’s widow Dana and daughter Adria disclosed the results of a coroner’s report into his death. “Unfortunately Tom’s body suffered from many serious ailments including emphysema, knee problems and most significantly a fractured hip” their statement said.
Therefore, he was prescribed various medications including Fentanyl, the painkiller also linked to Prince’s death and his family members believe he was overusing pain medication when he died.
After meeting with a medical examiner, Petty’s family updated the singer’s fans on Facebook. The statement said: “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.”
Petty was found unconscious, not breathing and in cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu on 2 October.
He was immediately taken to hospital, but he could not be revived and died later that evening.
Dana and Adria Petty said they hoped revealing the findings of the coroner’s report would help save lives by sparking a “healthy and necessary discussion on the opioid crisis. Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications”.
The Los Angeles coroner’s office attributed his death to “multisystem organ failure” due to a “mixed toxicity” of seven medications: fentanyl, oxycodone, emazepam, alprazolam, citalopram, acetyl fentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl.
Mrs. Petty also added that her husband had died “painlessly and beautifully exhausted after doing what he loved the most” following his 40th anniversary tour with his band, The Heartbreakers. “He was extremely proud of that achievement in the days before he passed,” the family said. “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.”
Petty found fame as the lead singer of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, with hits like American Girl and Breakdown. He was also a co-founder of the Traveling Wilburys group in the late 1980s, recording albums with Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and George Harrison.
Article by Valentina Guidi.