Tom Petty: Cause of Death Revealed

by at .  Updated at .

The very sad and unfortunate news is in:

The official cause of death for music legend Tom Petty has been revealed.


The veteran artist passed away in early October, with his manager making the announcement at the time that shook millions of fans.

“We are devastated to announce the untimely death of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty," said Tony Dimitriades, adding:

"He died peacefully at 8:40 p.m. local time (0340 GMT Tuesday) surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends."

Petty was 66 years old.

Now, nearly five months after Petty died, the results of his autopsy have been made public.

In a statement posted on the late singer’s website Friday night, his family said the beloved musician had been using a number of medications, including opioid pain medication Fentanyl.

Tom Petty Image

He ultimately died of “multi-system organ failure” caused by “mixed drug toxicity,” according to the aforementioned autopsy report, released on Friday by the Los Angeles County Coroner.

During an examination on October 3, the medical examiner found fentanyl, oxycodone, temazepam, alprazolam, citalopram, acetylfentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl.

Petty was discovered to be suffering from coronary artery atherosclerosis and emphysema.

“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,” reads the family statement.

It was signed by widow Dana and daughter Adria.

Petty's loved ones went on to explain that the linchpin to Petty's demise was a fractured hip. 

The singer insisted on touring for 53 concert dates with this difficult condition, which only grew over time and which caused him to take the medications listed on the examiner's findings. 

Tom Petty on Stage

"On the day he died, [Petty] 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 overuse of medication,” the family continued in its statement.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office finished an autopsy on the rocker in October, but the official cause of death required further investigation at the time.

Said his family on Friday:

“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."

Fentanyl, it should be noted, is the same opiate that killed Prince in April.

The Centers for Disease Control approximates that fentanyl is 80 times as potent as morphine and hundreds of times more potent than heroin.

Tom Petty

It is classified as a Schedule II drug by the federal government and its medical uses are normally pain management following surgery or for chronic pain.

Petty's relatives acknowledged these facts in its statement.

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.

Concluded this lengthy note, which was shared on Facebook:

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.

May Tom Petty rest in peace.

Show Comments
Tags: ,