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Tom Petty’s Autopsy Reveals Cause of Death as Accidental Drug Overdose

Tom Petty Cause of Death
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers perform during the ‘Bridgestone Halftime Show’ at Super Bowl XLII between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots on February 3, 2008 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Tom Petty’s autopsy revealed that he passed away from an accidental drug overdose after taking a variety of medications. The late rocker’s family shared a statement via Facebook on Friday, January 19.

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“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,” the statement began. “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.”

 As previously reported, Petty died at the age of 66 on October 2, 2017, after suffering cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu. He died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he was “surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends,” his longtime manager Tony Dimitriades confirmed in a statement to Us Weekly at the time.

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 The family added that they “recognize this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis.” 

“Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications,” the statement continued. “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.” 

The late singer’s family and friends memorialized him in a private funeral service at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, California, on October 16.

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Petty’s daughter AnnaKim Violette Petty shared several photos from the ceremony on Instagram. “The dark of the sun we will stand together,” she captioned one snap of a black-and-white photo of her late father that was on display at the temple, where The Beatles member George Harrison’s funeral was held in 2001. Petty and Harrison were bandmates in the late ’80s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys.

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