UPDATE: The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee actor Anton Yelchin was driving at the time of his fatal accident was under recall, The Associated Press reports. The SUV’s gear shifters reportedly confused drivers and caused vehicles to roll unexpectedly.
On Monday, Jeep auto-maker Fiat Chrysler said in a statement that the company is investigating and that it’s premature to speculate on the crash cause. The 2015 Grand Cherokees were included in Fiat Chrysler’s global recall of 1.1 million vehicles announced in April. A Los Angeles coroner’s official has stated that Yelchin’s death has been ruled an accident.
Anton Yelchin, the actor who portrayed Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek series and star of films like Like Crazy and Green Room, died early Sunday morning in a fatal traffic collision, his publicist confirmed to The Associated Press. Yelchin was 27.
According to TMZ, Yelchin was involved in a freak accident outside his San Fernando Valley, California home. After missing a rehearsal earlier in the night, concerned friends found Yelchin pinned between his car and a brick mailbox that was attached to the security gate. The car was on and in neutral when the actor was found in his driveway. TMZ adds that police do not suspect foul play.
“Oh, Anton. Such a dedicated, generous and hyper-smart young man. So grateful for the time we shared, destroyed he left so soon,” Green Room director Jeremy Saulnier tweeted of the actor.
Born in Russia to professional figure skater parents, the Yelchin family emigrated to the United States when Anton was six months old. After making his acting debut at the age of nine, Yelchin appeared in films and television shows like ER, Curb Your Enthusiasm, House of D and Along Came a Spider while still in his early teens.
Yelchin’s breakout role came as the kidnapped younger brother in the 2006 film Alpha Dog, based on the true story of Jesse James Hollywood. Soon after, Yelchin nabbed prominent roles in films like Charlie Bartlett (in the title role), Like Crazy, the remake of Fright Night and Terminator: Salvation, playing the Kyle Reese role.
Yelchin was perhaps best known for portraying Pavel Chekov in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek in 2009 and Star Trek Into Darkness in 2013. Yelchin reprised the role for the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, due out July 22nd.
Recently, Yelchin starred in the critically acclaimed Green Room, the zombie comedy Burying the Ex and the Shakespeare adaptation Cymbeline. Yelchin was also a member of the band HammerHeads.
“Anton Yelchin was one of my best friends. Can’t say anything that conveys what this feels like,” actress Kat Dennings tweeted. Anna Kendrick wrote, “This is unreal. Anton Yelchin is such a talent. Such a huge loss.”