Grey’s Anatomy: ‘Derek Is Dead,’ Did They Really Just Kill Patrick Dempsey Off The Show?

Warning: Do not read any further if you have not watched tonight’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

Grey’s Anatomy fans better have had a box of tissues next to them as they watched the show bid a heartbreaking farewell to Derek ‘McDreamy’ Shepherd, aka Patrick Dempsey.

Thursday’s episode, written by the show’s creator Shonda Rhimes, gave an answer to the recent speculation that Dempsey would be exiting the show for good.

Derek witnesses a car accident and then becomes the hero when he manages to save the four passengers lives. However, things quickly turn bad as he is hit by a tractor-trailer. Shepherd is taken to a hospital for treatment, but because the doctors refused to get a head CT, they did not realize the extent of his head injury and the neurological surgeon wasn’t able to make it in time to save his life. The police arrive at Meredith’s home in Seattle and tell her that there has been an accident. She goes to the hospital and the doctors tell her that Derek is brain dead and then give her the papers to terminate life support. Meredith then sits with Derek while the nurse turns off the machines.

“After 11 seasons on Grey’s Anatomy, Patrick Dempsey is moving on to pursue other interests,” ABC said in a statement, according to Deadline. “Dr. Derek Shepherd is an iconic character and we’ve been proud to be the home of ‘McDreamy’ and the ‘Mer/Der’ love story. The devotion of Grey’s fans throughout the years has been a testament to the creative mind of Shonda Rhimes and Dempsey’s talent. ‘McDreamy’ will be greatly missed and we wish Patrick the very best in his future endeavors.”

Patrick had already started fueling the rumors that his departure was imminent, despite having signed a two-year contract in 2014, when he spoke to the Portland Press Herald in November.

“I do want to act [after Grey’s Anatomy], but I might take a break and go race and travel first. I haven’t found a piece of material I want to do yet,” Dempsey said at the time.

Did you watch the emotional episode of Grey’s Anatomy? What do you think about them killing off another main character? Leave your thoughts below.

[Photo via Twitter/Grey’s Anatomy]