Star Trek movie star Anton Yelchin, the son of famous Russian figure skaters, Viktor Yelchin and Irina Korina, was killed Sunday in a tragic Studio City car accident, when his recalled 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee allegedly rolled into him, pinning him against a brick pillar and security gate, fatally injuring him. Apparently, United State government regulators determined that the Jeep’s gear shifting possibly could confuse drivers and then possibly cause the Jeep Cherokees to roll away. This is what may have occurred here, leading to speculation that this defect caused or contributed to causing this fatal wrongful death accident.
Yelchin most recently played the Russian crewmember aboard the Star Ship Enterprise in the three most recent Star Trek films.
According to the Los Angeles Times, in April of 2016, Fiat Chrysler Automotive voluntarily recalled over one million cars and sport utility vehicles, like Yelchin’s 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) investigation determined that electronic shifts in these vehicles could spring-back to their previous position after being moved to a different gear. Apparently, some drivers might possibly mistakenly believe that their car or sports utility vehicle was in park then exit their vehicle, but if the parking brake was not properly applied while the vehicle was still running then the car or vehicle could roll away and possibly cause injury or damage, as may have occurred in this tragic incident.
The times reported that as of April 2015 there were at least 41 injuries believed to have been caused by this alleged defect.
The Fiat Chrysler recall includes 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees that were manufactured from July 2012 to December 2015. If you have such a vehicle you should immediately call your local dealership for instructions. The company was to have mailed notices to all owners of record of these cars and sport utility vehicles this past May 2016, warning them to always use the parking brake before exiting their vehicles. Further, Fiat Chrysler stated it hopes to have a remedy to fix this problem by the last quarter of 2016.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is investigating this incident and, as expected, issued a statement that the investigation is in its preliminary stages without any conclusions on cause reached. It was also learned that at least part of this crash and incident may have been captured on surveillance cameras.
Yelchin also starred in Alpha dog (2007) and was awaiting release of the third installment in the rebooted Star Trek films, called “Star Trek Beyond”, which is scheduled to come out in July 2016.
It is a good idea to check with your car dealer to see if your car or other vehicle is subject to any recall and, if so, to immediately act on such warnings. It is also important to always put your vehicle in “park” when passenger are entering or exiting your vehicle, use the parking brake when parking your car or other vehicle, and to check your tire pressure frequently as properly inflated tires should not only last longer but should be safer to use.
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