Words by Roman White
American singer and songwriter Tom Petty’s cause of death was publicly released on Friday.
The “Free Fallin” singer reportedly died on October 2, 2017 from an accidental overdose of pain medications. Fentanyl, Oxycontin, and Xanax were some of the pain pills the singer was taking at the time of his death. The meds were prescribed because of Petty’s fractured hip, knee problems and emphysema.
The family of Tom Petty released a statement on Tom’s condition prior to his passing on Facebook and on Tom Petty’s website. In part, the statement reads:
“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 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 over use of medication. 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.”
The family added that they are aware of the conversation that needs to be had about the opioid crisis as more and more people struggle with opioid addiction. Pills such as the ones Petty was prescribed claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Americans last year.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. According to Billboard, Petty has sold more than 20 million albums in his career with his most popular album Wildflowers selling more than 3 million copies.