Tom Petty’s cause of death is announced: The rock legend died of opioid drug overdose

Rock legend Tom Petty died from an accidental drug overdose as a result of mixing medications that included opioids, according to the coroner for the county of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner Jonathan Lucas said Petty, who died suddenly October 2, 2017, had in his system the drugs fentanyl, oxycodone, temazepam, alprazolam, citalopram, acetyl fentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl, according to The New York Times.

(Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images for ABA)

Petty, 66, suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, California, barely a week after concluding a tour with his band, the Heartbreakers, The Times reported.

The iconic rocker’s wife, Dana, and daughter, Adria, described Petty’s death as “an unfortunate accident,” saying that he “suffered from many serious ailments including emphysema, knee problems and most significantly a fractured hip.”

All of which makes his passing even more heartbreaking.

“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 said.

“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 the cause for his over use of medication.”

Petty had overcome a heroin addiction in the late 1990’s during a turbulent time in his life.

His wife and daughter said they hope his death “may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis” in the country.

“Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications,” they said in their statement.

Here is the full statement from Dana and Adria Petty:

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.

Unfortunately Tom’s body suffered from many serious ailments including emphysema, knee problems and most significantly 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.

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 the cause for his over use of medication.

We knew before the report was shared with us that he was prescribed various pain medications for a multitude of issues including fentanyl patches and we feel confident that this was, as the coroner found, an unfortunate accident.

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.

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 year career. He was extremely proud of that achievement in the days before he passed.

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.

Thank you also for respecting the memory of a man who was truly great during his time on this planet both publicly and privately.

We would be grateful if you could respect the privacy of the entire Heartbreaker family during this difficult time.

Dana Petty and Adria Petty

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Tom Tillison

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