Yesterday, we all learned the very sad news that 27-year-old actor Anton Yelchin had died in a tragic and freak car accident at his home in Los Angeles, California. There was a lot of sadness and confusion in the aftermath of the tragedy, but we are now learning more about the circumstances that led to the incident. One major detail has been confirmed by the Los Angeles Police Department, and it may point toward what exactly happened.
The Los Angeles Police Department was able to confirm that the vehicle involved in the incident was a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. As it turns out, that particular model of Jeep was involved in a Recall from Fiat Chrysler that had to do with an unconventional gear shifter that was installed in several of their vehicles, according to Jalopnik. The recall was initiated as a result of several reported rollaway incidents that shared similarities to the incident that led to the Star Trek actor's untimely passing.
It was reported yesterday that Yelchin had been found by his friends in the morning, pinned by his vehicle against a brick mailbox and a security gate. No foul play was suspected in the incident, but there was suspicion that his vehicle may have been one of the vehicles that were listed on the recall list from Fiat Chrysler and the police were able to confirm those suspicions this morning. Yelchin' s publicist Jennifer Allan had this to say yesterday shortly after news about his death surfaced.
"Actor Anton Yelchin was killed in a fatal traffic collision early this morning. His family requests you respect their privacy at this time."
The recall on vehicles like Yelchin's 2015 Jeep was initially issued in April of this year, but it was a voluntary recall so it was not required that those who purchased one of the vehicles had to bring them in. When Fiat Chrysler sent out the recall notice, the said that they shifter led to 41 injuries, many of which were very similar to what it appears happened to Yelchin. Some of the incidents that were reported involved the vehicle not stopping after being put in park and crashing into a garage door, vehicles rolling away in parking lots and crashing into other vehicles as well as rolling backwards on inclines.
The exact cause of death has not yet been determined and the investigation into Yelchin's death is still ongoing, though this shifter recall is very likely something that will be looked into. Yelchin had been acting in Hollywood from a very young age, starring in films like Hearts In Atlantis alongside Anthony Hopkins. Later this year, he will be appearing in Star Trek Beyond as Chekov. We will be sure to keep you informed as this story continues to develop.