Coro­ner rules Tom Petty’s death an ac­ci­den­tal over­dose

The au­topsy re­port in­di­cates a num­ber of dif­fer­ent med­i­ca­tions in Petty’s blood, in­clud­ing oxy­codone.

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL & NATIONAL -

LOS AN­GE­LES — Tom Petty’s fam­ily says his death last year was due to an ac­ci­den­tal drug over­dose.

His wife and daugh­ter re­leased the re­sults of Petty’s au­topsy via a state­ment on his Face­book page. Dana and Adria Petty say they got the re­sults from the coro­ner’s of­fice ear­lier in the day that the over­dose was due to a va­ri­ety of med­i­ca­tions.

The state­ment was posted mo­ments be­fore the Los An­ge­les coro­ner’s of­fice is­sued its of­fi­cial find­ings, which con­firmed that Petty had a va­ri­ety of med­i­ca­tions, in­clud­ing fen­tanyl and oxy­codone, in his sys­tem.

Petty suf­fered from em­phy­sema, a frac­tured hip and knee prob­lems that caused him pain, the fam­ily said, but he was still com­mit­ted to tour­ing.

He had just wrapped up a tour a few days be­fore he died in Oc­to­ber at age 66.

The fam­ily said Petty had been pre­scribed var­i­ous pain med­i­ca­tions for his mul­ti­tude of is­sues, in­clud­ing fen­tanyl patches, and “we feel con­fi­dent that this was, as the coro­ner found, an un­for­tu­nate ac­ci­dent.”

They added: “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 neces- sary dis­cus­sion and we hope in some way this re­port can save lives. Many peo­ple who over- dose be­gin with a le­git­i­mate in­jury or sim­ply do not un­der­stand the po­tency and deadly na­ture of these med­i­ca­tions.”

Petty was a rock su­per­star with the per­sona of an ev­ery­man who drew upon the Byrds, Bea­tles and other bands he wor­shipped as a boy in Gainesville, Florida. He pro­duced clas­sics that in­clude “Free Fallin’,” ‘’Refugee” and “Amer­i­can Girl.” He and his long­time band the Heart­break­ers had re­cently com­pleted a 40th-an­niver­sary tour, one he hinted would be their last.

The shaggy- haired blond rose to suc­cess in the 1970s and went on to sell more than 80 mil­lion records. He was loved for his melodic hard rock, nasally vo­cals and down-to-earth style. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which in­ducted Petty and the Heart­break­ers in 2002, praised them as “durable, re­source­ful, hard-work­ing, lik­able and un­pre­ten­tious.”

File, David Phillip / AP

Tom Petty had just wrapped up an­other con­cert tour days be­fore his death at age 66.

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