Tom Petty’s Official Cause Of Death Was Accidental Drug Overdose

The L.A. County Coroner says Petty died of organ failure due to drug toxicity

Tom Petty performs with the Heartbreakers during their headlining set on day one of the inaugural 2017 Arroyo Seco Music Festival
Chris Pizzello / AP Images

The L.A. County Coroner says Petty died of organ failure due to drug toxicity

The Los Angeles County Coroner released the toxicology for Tom Petty and listed the official cause of death as an accidental overdose which caused his organs to fail. Tom Petty died in October at the age of 66 having just returned home from a multi-city tour with his band The Heartbreakers.

The Official Cause Of Death For Tom Petty Was Accidental Drug Overdose

Dana and Adria Petty wrote a message to fans on the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Facebook page to explain to fans that Petty died from an overdose of pain medication. In a frank and honest letter, Tom Petty’s wife and daughter explained that Petty had been struggling with a number of ailments that left him in chronic pain including knee problems and a broken hip. Despite these problems, Petty continued to tour to bring music to his fans.

“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 that Tom Petty overdosed, he had been to the doctor and found out that his hip injury had gotten worse.

“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.”

Tom Petty Had Multiple Opioids In His System For A Broken Hip

TMZ reported that the coroner reported that Tom Petty was suffering from a number of medical ailments for which he was taking prescribed medication, and so his overdose is officially registered as accidental. In addition to a broken hip and trouble with his knees, Petty had emphysema and coronary artery atherosclerosis.

The coroner’s report said that Tom Petty had the following drugs in his system at the time of his death:

Fentanyl patches, oxycodone (Oxycontin), temazepam (Restoril), alprazolam (Xanax), citalopram (Celexa), acetyl fentanyl, and despropionyl fentanyl.

The initial death certificate for Tom Petty listed the cause of death as “deferred” as the toxicology was pending.

The Petty Family Thanked Fans For Respecting Their Privacy

Rolling Stone quoted the Petty family who said that they knew that Tom Petty was taking a variety of medication, but he had been in a great deal of pain.

“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.”

But on a positive note, the Petty family said that Tom Petty died doing what he loved, which was touring with his band. They thanked Tom Petty’s fans and asked that everyone respect their privacy and the memory of Tom Petty.