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Since the advent of the automobile, people have had tragically fatal accidents. Even with constantly improving safety technology, people can’t withstand the trauma of a violent crash. Such is the case with these fatalities, all of which happened behind the wheel of a car. Unfortunately, these famous celebrities and actors, like Paul Walker and Princess Diana, died in their heartbreaking car crashes.

James Dean, Paul Walker, and Princess Diana are just a few of the mega-famous people who didn’t survive car crashes

Tragically, people die in their cars every day. In the case of these celebrities and actors who died in car crashes, the occupants didn’t live through their unfortunate wrecks.

  • James Dean
  • Paul Walker
  • Grace Kelly
  • Dale Earnhardt
  • Princess Diana

Actor James Dean contracted the same racing bug as actors like Paul Newman and Patrick Dempsey. Unfortunately for Dean, he crashed his Porsche 550 Spyder on his way to a racing event. He perished instantly. Tragically, the actor died in a car crash in September 1955, just one month prior to the release of his film and cult classic, “Rebel Without a Cause.”

Furthermore, Paul Walker, one of the early stars of the “Fast & Furious” franchise, had a similar Porsche penchant to James Dean. In November 2013, Walker’s friend, Roger Rodas, lost control of a Porsche Carrera GT while speeding in Valencia, California, leading to a collision with obstacles and trees. Sadly, Walker and Rodas died in the ultra-rare hypercar.

In a saddening crash that didn’t involve unsafe driving, actor and elegant Hollywood star Grace Kelly suffered a stroke behind the wheel. Consequently, she drove her Rover P6 sedan off a treacherous terrain feature. She survived the crash but died at a Monaco hospital in September 1982, per Town & Country.

Princess Diana, one of the most high profile star or celebrity deaths in a car crash, flashes a smile in an Australian photo op.
Princess Diana flashes a smile in Australia | Patrick Riviere, AFP via Getty Images

Perhaps the most infamous celebrity car crash ever, Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a Parisian wreck. Her driver, Henri Paul, crashed their Mercedes-Benz S-Class luxury sedan in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris, France, killing himself, Princess Diana, and her partner Dodi Fayed.

Dale Earnhardt, or Dale Earnhardt Sr. as many fans call him, was an accomplished NASCAR driver. Tragically, on February 18, 2001, Earnhardt crashed his racecar on the final lap of the storied Daytona 500. He died of severe trauma from the crash.