Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, Khloe Kardashian, Heather Locklear — they’ve all been charged with DUIs, and many have shrugged off their offenses. Will Ryan’s tragic death finally get through their Hollywood heads that drinking and driving is deadly?
In the hours before his tragic death along with his passenger Zachary Hartwell, 30, a production assistant on the second “Jackass” movie, Dunn downed multiple shots of whiskey at Barnaby’s, a West Chester Pennsylvania bar. “He was drinking quick. He ordered for the entire bar and the crowd was just pouring in. It was a massive party, with everyone drinking,” described Thaddeus Kalinoski, a friend of Zachary Hartwell, who was with the pair in the bar.
Sadly, Dunn and Hartwell died in the June 21st crash a couple of hours later, when Dunn’s Porsche 911 flew off the road at 2:30 am after it was speeding at 130 mph in a 55 mph zone.
West Croshen Police Chief Michael Carroll described it as the worst crash he had ever seen. It was so bad that the Chester County Coroner’s Office said it was impossible to determine whether Ryan and Zachary died from the huge blunt impact of the crash or the terrible resulting fireball.
What happened to Ryan Dunn, 34, and Zachary Hartwell, an Iraqi war veteran who reportedly was recently married, was beyond tragic.
But Dunn is unfortunately just the most recent Hollywood celebrity to drink and drive. DUI charges are so common among Hollywood stars that they may seem to be no big deal to many celebrities.
It was an initial DUI and the ensuing events that led to Lindsay Lohan being incarcerated in jail. Same thing with Paris Hilton. She was charged with a DUI, lost her driver’s license, drove anyway and ended up sentenced to jail time.
Mel Gibson infamously spewed anti-semitic comments to a police officer when he was pulled over after drinking at a bar for hours, and charged with a DUI in August, 2006. Other Hollywood stars charged with DUIs include: Jaime Pressly, Kiefer Sutherland, Mischa Barton, Nick Nolte, Charles Barkley, Barron Hilton, rapper Flo Rida, Vince Neil, Michelle Rodriguez, Haley Joel Osment, Mike Tyson and more.
While Dunn’s fatal accident occurred in Pennsylvania, most star DUIs happen to happen in LA where stars almost always drive themselves instead of using a car service or taxis, like in NYC. They’re just so used to driving that they get in their cars even when inebriated.
No doubt, some celebrities also suffer from “invincibility syndrome.” They think because they are big stars, nothing can happen to them, including getting into an accident while driving drunk.
I’m not saying that Ryan felt that way at all, but he did drive while intoxicated.
I just hope that Ryan Dunn who was loved by so many will serve as a warning to other Hollywooders who might be tempted to drink and drive. Think of how much he is missed and DON’T do it!
— Bonnie Fuller
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