Tom Petty Cause of Death Revealed

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Tom Petty’s wife, Dana, and eldest daughter, Adria, have revealed today (Jan. 19) his cause of death. The classic rock star died October 2, 2017, of “an accidental drug overdose as a result of taking a variety of medications” exactly one week after he and the Heartbreakers had completed a 40th anniversary tour.

The pair shared the Medical Examiner’s findings on Petty’s Facebook page:

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.

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.

This photo appeared with the family’s statement

As a family 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.

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.

Dana Petty and Adria Petty

Watch Petty and the Heartbreakers perform “Learning to Fly” at their final concert, September 25, 2017 at the Hollywood Bowl

Related: Tom Petty, a true rock and roll star


Best Classic Bands Staff

3 Comments so far

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  1. Fran
    #1 Fran 19 January, 2018, 20:58

    He literally
    Gave his Life for

    Thank you so much Tom Petty for putting LIFE back into

    Reply this comment
  2. Jack
    #2 Jack 19 January, 2018, 21:32

    I’ve lived with chronic pain for close to twenty years. I’ve had two spinal fusions, an inch and a half cut off my collar bone, and had my hip replaced. Unfortunately, one of the fusions did not take, and i’m looking at having to have a total revision on the hip that was replaced.
    All of this occurred when I was hit by a car as I walked thru a parking lot on my way into a concert. The individual who hit me had disregarded the lot attendants who were trying to turn him around because the lot was closed. Turns out he was in a hurry to get his tickets at the will-call window. He had the barest minimum insurance you could have.
    I’ve lived with Methadone for the pain for close to fifteen years. For the first five years, until we found a good Dr., I was on a variety of pain killers including the Fentynal patches, OxyContin, morphine, and dilaudid.
    Pain can literally make you crazy. It gets to the point where it takes total control of your life. One mistake on a bad day where the pain is worse than usual, and it can all be over. I know for a fact that I have come very close to crossing that line of no return several times. My only advice to someone is find a good pain Dr. Don’t put yourself in the hands of someone who will prescribe irresponsibly.
    I feel for Mr. Petty, it can obviously happen to anyone.

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  3. John Rose
    #3 John Rose 20 January, 2018, 08:30

    I guess coming down really is the hardest thing. Thanks, Tom, for flying as long as you did.

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