The Family of Tom Petty Just Revealed His Cause of Death


Tom Petty’s family revealed in a statement on Friday that the singer’s death was caused by an accidental drug overdose.

The autopsy showed that the singer had taken a variety of medications, which included patches for the opioid Fentanyl.

The medications had been prescribed to Petty for his emphysema and fractured hip, and Dana and Adria Petty said in their post that they “feel confident that this was, as the coroner found, an unfortunate accident.”

“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 statement read.

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“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 cause for his over use of medication.”

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner listed the official cause of death as “multisystem organ failure due to resuscitated cardiopulmonary arrest due to mixed drug toxicity,” according to the Rolling Stone.

“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 career,” his wife and daughter said.

Petty was found unconscious after he went into cardiac arrest on Oct. 2 in his Malibu home, from where he was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center and placed on life support. Although doctors felt a pulse, he could not be revived and the singer died hours later.

Do you think there should be a discussion on the opioid crisis?

Petty was a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer and performed in many different groups before forming the Heartbreakers in the late 1970s.

His “Greatest Hits” album is Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ best-selling album to date.

He told the Rolling Stone before the 40th anniversary tour with the Heartbreakers that it was going to be his “last rip around the country.”

“I need something to do, or I tend to be a nuisance around the house,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an August 2017 report that “40% of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opiod. In 2016, more than 46 people died every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids.”

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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. Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications,” Petty’s family wrote.

“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.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith