The Hollywood community was dealt a very serious and shocking blow on Sunday when 27-year-old actor Anton Yelchin was declared dead in a freak car accident at his home. Though it is still early and a lot is still being revealed about the exact circumstances that led to the incident, we are starting to get a better picture of what exactly happened. According to the coroner, Yelchin's death has been determined to be accidental.
The report comes courtesy of People. According to the report, Yelchin died of accidental "blunt traumatic asphyxia," confirmed Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County coroner's office. Prior to the coroner's report, there was no foul play expected in the Star Trek actor's death, but this does lend some credibility to the possibility that Yelchin's 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which had a recall issued by Fiat Chrysler, had something to do with the incident. According the Los Angeles police, that angle is being explored.
"We are looking into that. The investigation is still ongoing and the traffic detectives will look at all of those factors as they would in any traffic collision investigation. So, at this time we're not sure what caused it, but that's something investigators are looking at."
It was initially reported on Sunday morning that Yelchin had been found by his friends pinned by his vehicle against a brick mailbox and a security gate. No foul play was suspected in the incident, but after the confirmation came that his vehicle was indeed a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, that became a big clue. Fiat Chrysler had issued a recall in April for the shifter on the car, which had been linked to 41 other incidents with circumstances that mirrored what appears to have happened with Yelchin. Essentially, even though the car would be put in park, it would not actually shift into park and many owners reported rollaway incidents or collisions as a result.
The news of Yelchin's death has sent a shockwave through the entertainment community, as it was completely unexpected and the circumstances were very peculiar. The actor was also in the middle of a banner year, having starred in the critically acclaimed thriller Green Room, which came out earlier this year to go along with him reprising his role as Chekov in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond. Many of those who worked with Yelchin have responded on social media over the past few days, including J.J. Abrams, who wrote a very touching note about his passing.
"You were kind. You were funny as hell, and supremely talented. And you weren't here nearly long enough. Missing you..."
Yelchin got his start in Hollywood at a very young age and truly broke out when he starred alongside Anthony Hopkins in Hearts of Atlantis in 2001. He has since gone on to star in a ton of independent movies as well as massive franchises like Star Trek. Yelchin had finished production on several movies that have yet to be released, which will be coming out at some point over the next couple of years. We will be sure to keep you updated as new information becomes available. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.