The Tragic Death Of Anton Yelchin

At only 27 years old, actor Anton Yelchin died in a freak accident in his own driveway in Los Angeles in June 2016. He found himself pinned between a pillar and a fence after his car started rolling backward, according to BBC News. It appeared that Yelchin had gotten out of the vehicle, but had not put the car into park correctly (via CBS News). The Los Angeles County coroner’s office determined that cause of death was “blunt traumatic asphyxia.” The young performer, known for such films as 2009’s “Star Trek,” was basically crushed to death by his own car.

Born on March 11, 1989, in what is now St. Petersburg, Russia, Yelchin had begun his career with small roles in such TV shows as “ER” and “The Practice” when he was only a child (via People magazine). He eventually graduated to more substantial projects, including a leading role in 2007’s “Charlie Bartlett.” Yelchin soon landed his most high-profile part, bringing his own take to the part of Pavel Chekov in J.J. Abrams’ revival of “Star Trek.” After Yelchin’s death, Abrams took to Twitter to remember the actor, tweeting “You were kind. You were funny as hell, and supremely talented. And you weren’t here nearly long enough” (via BBC).

Anton Yelchin's death led to a lawsuit

Questions quickly rose up about Yelchin’s vehicle, a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Apparently, the 2014 and 2015 models of this car had been involved in numerous accidents as its “e-shift” feature made it hard for drivers to tell whether they had put their cars into park or not (via CBS News). Victor and Irina Yelchin, the distraught parents of the young actor, pursued legal action against Fiat Chrysler, the company that manufactured the Jeep Grand Cherokee, according to an Associated Press report (via USA Today). “In spite of our unbelievable grief, we decided to come here to prevent other families from the same tragedy,” Victor Yelchin said. The Yelchins reached a settlement with the carmaker in 2018.

Yelchin’s final appearance as Pavel Chekov was in 2016’s “Star Trek Beyond,” which premiered not long after his fatal accident. He had several more films released after his death, including the 2017 independent drama “Thoroughbreds” and the 2017 mystery “We Don’t Belong Here.” Fans also got to see another side to the late performer. He had several posthumous exhibitions of his photography, including a show at the De Buck Gallery in New York City (via W magazine). According to his official website, Yelchin said that “I was drawn to photography as an extension of film, and the beauty of film is that it’s a sensuous, fetishistic medium.” A collection of his photography has been published as the 2019 book “In Case of Fire.”

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