Tom Petty died from massive accidental drug overdose

Joann Johnston
January 21, 2018

Widow, Dana Petty, and eldest daughter, Adria Petty, shared the Coroner's final report on the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Facebook page, stating his shocking death was triggered by an accidental medical drug overdose.

The autopsy lists the cause of death as "coronary artery atherosclerosis".

In a statement released Friday, coroner Jonathan Lucas said that Petty's system showed signs of several opioid painkillers, including fentanyl and oxycodone.

"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", the post read. He died a week after concluding a nationwide tour with his band, the Heartbreakers.

Petty had previously suggested that the 40th anniversary tour could be his last, telling Rolling Stone in an interview: "We're all on the backside of our 60s". "I don't want to spend my life on the road", he said. But the pain soon became unbearable and led Petty to turn to medication, the family said.

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"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", they wrote. "I'd be lying if I didn't say I was thinking this might be the last big one". A report by The Washington Post past year showed 582 fatal overdoses from fentanyl in 2014, followed by a surge to 3,946 such deaths in 2016.

A Petty biography published in 2015 revealed that he had a heroin addiction in the 1990s. I don't think so.

Prince in 2016 also died from a fentanyl overdose a week after the pop singer's plane made an emergency stop in Moline, Illinois, for medical treatment as he was returning from an Atlanta concert.

Petty's hits over a long career included classics such as I Won't Back Down, Free Fallin' and American Girl. The news is particularly heartbreaking considering that Petty played through the pain over the a year ago of his life so that he wouldn't let down fans. Pills such as the ones Petty was prescribed claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Americans previous year.

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