Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose, family announces
Tom Petty died of an accidental drug overdose in October last year, his wife Dana and daughter Adria announced in a Facebook post Friday. “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 post reads.
The Los Angeles County coroner confirmed Friday that Petty’s cause of death was a “multisystem organ failure” due to mixed drug intoxication, including fentanyl, oxycodone, temazepam, alprazolam, citalopram, acetylfentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl.
His family said Petty suffered from “many serious ailments” including emphysema, knee problems and 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,” their post says. The family said the fracture upgraded to a full-on break and they believe the pain “was simply unbearable” and the cause of his “overuse of medication.”
“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,” the post reads.
Petty performed three sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl in December to conclude his band’s 40th anniversary tour. The band wrote on their website that the tour included 53 shows in 24 states.
In 2016, Petty told Rolling Stone he believed it would be the group’s last tour together. “It’s very likely we’ll keep playing, but will we take on 50 shows in one tour? I don’t think so. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thinking this might be the last big one,” he said. “We’re all on the backside of our sixties. I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that’s a lot of time.”
Petty, who released three solo albums and 13 albums with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, also took part in the 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne. He told Rolling Stone he was hoping to release a deluxe version of his 1994 solo album “Wildflowers” with a bonus disc of unreleased material. He had also hoped to play a special “Wildflowers” tour.