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Tom Petty Died of Accidental Drug Overdose, Autopsy Shows

New York (AP) — Tom Petty died last year because of an accidental drug overdose that his family said occurred on precisely the same day he found out his hip was broken after performing dozens of shows with a less severe injury.

His wife and daughter released the results of the autopsy by means of a statement of Petty Friday on his Facebook page, moments before coroner’s officials at Los Angeles. Adria Petty and Dana state they obtained the results from the coroner’s office earlier in the day that the overdose was because of a variety of drugs.

The coroner’s findings showed Petty had a mixture of sedatives prescription painkillers and an antidepressant. Among the drugs found in his system were fentanyl and oxycodone. An accidental overdose of fentanyl was ascertained to have murdered Prince in April 2016.

Petty suffered from emphysema, a busted hip and knee issues that the family said, however, he was committed to touring.

He had just wrapped up a trip a few days before he died in October.

“On the day he expired he had been advised his hip had graduated to a full on break and it’s our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of drug,” his loved ones said, adding that he performed over 50 concerts using a fractured hip.

The family said Petty was prescribed various pain medications due to their multitude of problems, such as fentanyl patches, and “we feel convinced that this was, since the coroner found, an unfortunate injury”

They included: “As a family we realize this report may spark a additional discussion about the opioid crisis and we feel that it’s a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way that this report may save lives. Many people who overdose start with a valid injury or simply don’t understand the potency and fatal nature of these drugs.”

Painkillers and sedatives are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S., but both drug types slow customers’ heart rate and breathing. The Food and Drug Administration has warned against blending them since the combination may lead to breathing issues, coma and death.

Government figures revealed that than any other medication, the effective painkiller fentanyl and its near opioid cousins played a role for the very first time, surpassing prescription pain pills and heroin.

Petty was a rock star with all the character of an everyman who drew on the Byrds, Beatles and other bands that he worshipped as a boy at Gainesville, Florida. He produced classics that include “Free Fallin’,” ”Refugee” and “American Girl.” His longtime band the Heartbreakers had completed one that he hinted, a tour and he would be their last.

The blond went on to sell over 80 million documents and rose to victory. He was loved for nasally vocals his melodic rock and style. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted Petty and the Heartbreakers at 2002, praised them as “lasting, resourceful, hard-working, likable and unpretentious.”


Stephanie Nano and Associated Press Writers Leanne Italie contributed to this report.

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