Tom Petty’s Cause of Death: Accidental Overdose

RollingStone.com — After months of speculation, a medical examiner has ruled that Tom Petty died of an accidental overdose, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner. The Hall of Fame musician had taken several pain medications, including Fentanyl, oxycodone and generic Xanax. Other medications included generic Restoril (a sleep aid) and generic Celexa (which treats depression).

The coroner’s office listed Petty’s official cause of death as “multisystem organ failure due to resuscitated cardiopulmonary arrest due to mixed drug toxicity,” noting the singer suffered from coronary artery atherosclerosis and emphysema.

Petty had been prescribed the drugs to treat emphysema, knee issues and a fractured hip, his family said in a statement accompanying the results. Petty’s coronary artery disease had been a persistent problem throughout his final tour.

“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,” Petty’s wife Dana and daughter Adria wrote in the statement. “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 overuse of medication.”

Petty was found unconscious and not breathing at his Malibu home on October 2nd. He was rushed to a hospital where he was placed on life support. Although he had a pulse, doctors found no brain activity when he arrived and the decision was made to pull life support. He died hours later.

The singer had recently completed a 40th anniversary tour with his band, the Heartbreakers. It was intended to be his “last trip around the country,” though he told Rolling Stone he wasn’t going to stop playing. “I need something to do, or I tend to be a nuisance around the house,” he said.

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