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Ryan Dunn Was Legally Drunk When The Accident Happened, Authorities Confirm

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Dunn Was Legally Drunk

This whole tragedy could have been avoided. So terribly sad.

The police have confirmed that Ryan Dunn was legally drunk — twice the legal limit — when he wrecked his car going 130mph, killing himself and Zach Hartwell, less than 100 yards from Hartwell's home.

People reported seeing Ryan drinking earlier in the night, but the bar tender said that Dunn did not look visibly drunk as he left the bar. His BAC was .196, which is more than twice the legal limit of .08.

No other substances other than alcohol were found in his blood.

What a horrible thing to have happened.

Never. Drink. And. Drive.

[Image via WENN.]

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89 comments to “Ryan Dunn Was Legally Drunk When The Accident Happened, Authorities Confirm”

  1. 1

    Just proves he is a murderer — and had NO REGARD for human life. Even his own.

  2. 2

    Very sad….a lesson to all that still think drinking and driving is ok….NEVER is it ok!!!!! Too bad someone did not stop him from driving that night…..such a senseless way to lose a life….RIP to all.

  3. 3

    So sad…we would not condone drinking and driving, but we also feel forhis loss and for his family - regardless in the end how it happened he is no longer on this earth and that is the painful truth of the matter - I hope he went quickly and did not suffer.

  4. 4

    While I do NOT condone drinking and driving, this is just sad. Terribly sad. And avoidable. The worst part is though, is these people with their holier than thou attitudes about what happened, when over half of you know at one point or another you got behind the wheel after having a few. He made a poor choice and so did his buddy for getting in the car with him. Plain and simple. I feel bad for their families and friends. No one should suffer as much as they are for Ryan's bad choice.

  5. 5

    What a fucking idiot!
    Not only did Ryan speed while drunk he killed his friend!

  6. 6

    Re: Novel1 – Yep, the true victims are the family and friends he left behind because of a stupid, avoidable decision.

  7. 7

    Perez, I guess Roger Ebert was right when he tweeted, "Friends don't let jackasses drink and drive", huh? YAY to Ebert for having the balls to tweet the obvious and BOO to you for being so blind to the obvious of this moron's inability to be responsible, if not for himself, for his friend's life.

  8. 8

    So that makes Ryan Dunn a murderer of his friend……that is crap..

    if you want to kill yourself go ahead but don't take other people with you.

    shame….there should be no big memorial for this guy for killing his friend.

  9. 9

    ironic…..dies doing a jackass stunt…..literally!

  10. 10

    All the Jackass guys are trainwrecks waiting to happen. You play with fire, you will get burned sooner or later. Hopefully the other Jackasses and fans in general will get some lessons from this tragedy.

  11. 11

    Re: hisharley0908 – I have never have so stop justifying his behavior….

    LOSER DRUNKY IS AS LOSER DRUNKY DOES…..he is a murderer!

  12. 12

    Lord, have mercy. :(

  13. 13

    Ok NOW we may say all the horrible comments about how driving drunk is a complete jackass thing to do and anyone that decided to get into their Porsche and hit 130 miles an hour while knowing they had a few drinks is completely stupid and fucked up specially when they're friend is in the passenger seat. Than god no other innocent people were hurt and i feel for both families. Rest in peace Zachary Hartwell and ryan dunn.

  14. 14

    Team Kim Richards says – reply to this

    9ironic…..dies doing a jackass stunt…..literally!

    Err no, irony would be him dying doing something normal and safe. This is a coincidence. Why is it people who refer to 'irony' rarely understand what it means.

  15. 15

    I feel terrible for the family and friends of both men. Having to deal with a tragic loss and the media frenzy must be hell.

  16. 16

    Roger Ebert WAS right. Ryan Dunn was a jackass for drunk driving. He killed himself, killed his friend and could have easily killed innocent people on his way. It's true, this is sad, but the accident was completely avoidable and just show the irresponsible person Dunn was.

    His jackass friends and the stupid people attacking Ebert for pointing the obvious (like YOU PEREZ) should learn from this cautionary tale and be thankful you (or a person close to you) were not in the passengers seat or on Ryan Dunn's way.

  17. 17

    Calling him a murderer is more than a little dramatic. Both men were stupid enough to get in the car when they'd been drinking and this is the unfortunate consequence of their actions.

  18. 18

    You all say that he is a murderer, and yes his reckless driving did kill somebody else aside from him but have you ever thought that the passenger, Zach, had the option to not drive with someone who was drunk. HE DID. Zach knew very well who and the state of the person he was getting into the car with. Zach could have said no. He could have gone home with someone else or called a cab. He could have asked Ryan to slow down (my guess was that he didn't).
    Yes, Ryan drove drunk and got himself killed because of it but you guys are making it out as if he killed someone else who wasn't under the influence or knowingly putting their lives at risk. If Zach was content with riding with a person who was driving and speeding under the influence then there is a very good chance that he wouldn't have thought twice about being the driver too.
    Don't act as if it was all of Ryan's fault for Zach's death. Zach picked his own fate too here.

  19. 19

    I feel bad for his family, gf and friends but man what a waste..That really sucks and really could have been avoided much like a teen pregancy.

  20. 20

    pathetic. the only person I feel badly for is the passanger.

  21. 21

    Oh well he got what he deserved how many fucking times do people need to be told to not drink and drive fuck him I'm just glad he didn't kill a pedestrian I feel bad for his friends and family who now have to deal with the grief and pain he has caused.

  22. ptay says – reply to this


    It is very sad for his loved ones, and although we all make mistakes, I find it very hard to feel sympathy or mourn his loss. He made the selfish, reckless decision to drive drunk and speed, reaaally speed and his outcome was the reality of such. To those saying it is a tragedy or accident is an insult to those who have actually lost loved ones to such. It's like saying someone dying from lung cancer after 50 years of smoking is a tragedy. He was drunk and speeding, what did he expect? As for his passenger, who knows what happened, he could have made the choice to ride, been out of it, etc. We'll see if the family decides to sue. I'm just so thankful no one innocent was involved, because that would have been a true tragedy. I just don't get how people can feel so bad for someone who could have killed someones child, dad, mom, etc. Say he did hit a car and killed someone and lived. How would we feel about him then? Drunk driving is drunk driving, no matter the victim. Why are we glorifying him for being the guilty victim of his own crime just because he got lucky and didnt kill an innocent victim?

  23. 23

    idiot! He and his fellow jackasses always pushed the limits. its sad that his last stunt was such an epic fail!

  24. 24


  25. 25

    Wow, to be only 100 yards from your destination. Now that's sad. I hope people turn this terrible tragedy into something positive so others will not make the same mistake. RIP

  26. 26

    I'm pretty sure his friend CHOSE to get into the car with him knowing that Ryan had drinks before entering the car. He risked his own life. Now people close to them hopefully will choose differently before getting in a car with their drunk friends.

  27. 27

    Re: justtospeaktruth – thank god*** and actually being twice the legal limit is way more then just a few drinks so this situation is nothing like driving buzzed or something, that's just plain drunk DRUNK.

  28. 28

    People need to remember something!! His friend got in that car, even though he knew Ryan was drunk! That was a choice he made all by himself. Don't judge Ryan for a choice his buddy took.. Luckily they didn't hit anyone else, or meet anyone else on the way.

  29. 29

    Okay so the guy made a bad decision, but none the less hes still someones child and someones friend its clear that a mistake was made but come on two lives were lost so stop talking crap and let these poor families grieve

  30. 30

    Murder-suicide. I'm just glad he didn't kill any innocent people. I feel sorry for his family but he did it to himself…no sugar coating it!

  31. 31

    Ryan Dunn is a MURDERER. Can people STOP lamenting the death of this dickhead and start being sad about his victim???

  32. 32

    It's completely sad, I hope young people learn from this.

  33. 33

    Everyone knows you simply CANNOT get an accurate breathalyzer test result from a well-done chunk of rib eye with a few tufts of red hair left on it.

  34. 34

    What a JACKASS! His friend made the choice to get in the car with a drunk driver, so I consider this a double suicide.

  35. 35

    First of all let me say that I do not condone drunk driving. That being said, all you people talking s**t about Ryan Dunn are major jerkoffs. He was somebody's child, friend and boyfriend. Someone dies everyday because of a drunk driver. I don't hear you talking crap about them. The only reason we even know about the accident is because he was famous. If he was a nobody, none of you would even care about it. Grow up and let the man rest in peace.

  36. 36

    Next time bystanders take the keys, call the cops … people who are drunk are impaired and make stupid choices that they wouldn't normally make sober. In this crew's situation, they take risks when sobers, be a prick and call the cops and safe a few lives … and PEREZ PUT IT TO REST, 15 posts in 2 days is quite enough.

  37. 37

    Only idiots like him would defend this guy.
    He is a killer, plain and simple.

    R.I.P. to the deceased Navy SEAL and to the Porsche.
    Thank God he did not launch this car into some 3 year old's bedroom at 130 mph.

  38. 38

    Re: Christik – That is the problem nobody ever hears about it and usually when its a celebrity there are idiots like you defending their actions.. he was a dumbass and I feel no sadness for his stupid ass do you honestly believe this is the first time he drank and drove? I feel bad for his family and the other guys family they both made a stupid fucking choice that their families now have to deal with.

  39. 39

    To all the idiots pointing out that the passenger CHOSE to get in the car: The passenger's judgment was impaired TOO; he was in no condition to make an intelligent, rational choice. Both had been drinking, and both knew better, but they chose to do it anyhow. This is what drinking will do to you and your ability to make good decisions. The greater sin here is on the driver, who should have put down the keys and called a cab. Stupidity killed the passenger; stupidity, arrogance, and a "the rules don't apply to me because I'm rich and famous" mentality killed the jackass. Hooray for Ebert and his honesty, and it must seriously suck to be Perez for having posted yet another ignorant, holier-than-thou opinion about how awful Ebert was for telling it like it was. Perez, you're an idiot.

  40. 40

    Re: eatmeat – Fuck yeah, about time someone said something like this. I have had to correct many people on this. People need to learn the fucking english language for fuck sakes. Nothing ironic about this, well said friend.

  41. 41

    Re: Geat real – Next time bystanders take the keys, call the cops … people who are drunk are impaired and make stupid choices that they wouldn't normally make sober. In this crew's situation, they take risks when they are sober, be a prick and call the cops and savee a few lives … and PEREZ PUT IT TO REST, 15 posts in 2 days is quite enough. Sorry for the lazy spelling but you get my drift, at least 10 people that night probably interacted with him when he left, did no one (ahem bartender dude, bouncer, servers…) notice he was popped? Of course they did, he was flushed, sweaty and it was 2:30 in the fn morning. sorry for ranting but there are a lot of bystanders whispering to their friends , I knew he was drunk.

  42. 42

    I never watched the Jackass show or heard of Ryan before his death. Going 130 at twice the legal limit seems pretty self-destructive though. Thank God he didn't hit another car.

  43. 43

    Well there's a surprise, NOT!!!! Always knew the idiots on this show (and the parents that encouraged the idiotic behavior) would lead to disaster. I hope the family of his victim sue the hell out of Dunn's estate.

  44. 44

    Re: Krista66 – Reports say it was a violent death and that if the impact didn't kill him, the fire did. All he had to do was call a cab.

  45. 45

    "legally drunk" LOLZ

    He was almost 3x the legal limit. why are you brown noising, Perez? Has Bam threatened to kick the shit out of you or something???

  46. 46

    Re: La Garse – When the passenger is so far off he chooses to actually join the ride, he's so far off that he could have been the driver.

    Btw; not all "member" on this are americans or have english as their spoken language. Cut some slack..

  47. 47

    How selfish someone must be to be so incredibly reckless by putting others in such danger all for personal thrill. He deserved what happened to him.

  48. 48

    I've spent all morning calling the networks to see if we can get some type of benefit concert together to raise money for his funeral costs and family. So far, every network has just said "who?" and hung up the phone.

    Must. Keep. Trying.

  49. Beccx says – reply to this



  50. 50

    Re: justtospeaktruth

    Thank you.

  51. JT3 says – reply to this


    So I guess YOU now owe Ebert an apology?

    Please stop celebrating the life of this jacka$$.

    He drove drunk and killed a supposed friend with his idiocy.

    He is a murderer and deserves no tears.

  52. 52

    Re: eatmeat – Ha ha ha ha! I agree and I love this!

  53. 53

    Re: beccabang – Murder: The unlawful killing of one human being by another. Murderer-One who committs murder. Ryan Dunn is a murderer regardless of his victim's actions. It was unlawful in that it is illegal to drink then drive and Dunn knowingly broke the law.

    Study up!!

  54. 54

    Re: Nikkicat85 – What in the hell does teen pregnancy have to do with this???!

  55. dintx says – reply to this


    Re: beccabang – I'm guessing you think Nick Hogan was not to blame for making a vegetable of his best friend, too, huh?

  56. 56

    The message is simple don't drink and drive, this guy killed himself and his friend, when he could have taken a cab, or get a designated driver. Its sad all around, thank got another person didn't get killed because of their poor decision.

  57. 57

    If you're gonna drink have a designated driver or make plains before to get a cab. It's very simple.

  58. 58

    Re: Freedomisntfree – I'm not defending what he did. I'm just horrified by the nasty comments these people are making about someone who had passed away. Have a little respect. If it was your family member driving instead of him, would you want people making these kind of comments? I don't think you would.

  59. 59

    To all of you STILL defending Ryann, he was going 130 MILES PER HOUR!!! like i understand if he was doing a reasonable speed and fell into a ditch or something but cmon guys, even people that are drunk and driving they usually go at slow speeds or swerving around on the road, i just think that's making people even more mad and upset about this. Just makes us question why the f would he be going that fast…….

  60. 60

    I already lost sympathy when it was reported he was doing 130 mph. And great bartender by the way: the didn't look visibly drunk? Can't you tell by the amount of drinks you serve someone whether or not they had too much?

  61. 61

    team Ebert.

  62. 62

    Re: Team Kim Richards – Did I ever specifically say you? No. I did not. Idiot. Sounds like you have some guilt you're carrying around.

  63. 63

    Re: Wenchtits – you're welcome lol i saw your comment on the other post and you were absolutely right, people didn't have the right to say so much before they knew these facts.

  64. 64

    The only sad part is the piece of shit murdered his passenger. I hope the family sues the fucks estate for every single penny in it. Now that the truth is out there instead of dragging on for weeks let the lawyering up begin. Hope Dunn is still feeling the heat from the fire.

  65. 65

    Did the passenger know he was drunk, if so why did he get in the car with him?

  66. 66

    So Perez, still think Ebert was out of line? If Dunn had hit another car, killed its passengers and still survived, you better believe he would've been charged and booked with some form of homicide. Think he'd be a victim then? It's sad how certain media outlets didn't have the guts to call out the recklessness of this incident and instead of making this a teachable situation, but chose to take the "poor him" approach as if he was a victim of bad luck. By coddling the story, it's almost like you're giving him a pass on his behavior. What kind of message does that send out, especially to younger impressionable fans of the show? Ebert did the right thing in highlighting that HE was responsible for this accident and not just some victim of tragic fates.

  67. 67

    seriously for someone who's gut reaction to michael jackson's death was "he's faking it" and how hard you have come down on that hogan kid, why are you being such a fluffball about this now?

  68. 68

    Nice friends letting him drive….

  69. 69

    I can't stand when people call something like this an accident, or a mistake. It was neither. There's no accident in crashing your car and killing yourself or others if you got behind the wheel after drinking. There's no mistake in it either, seeing as how pretty much the entire world has been repeatedly educated on the dangers of doing this throughout their whole lives starting at a young age. And people are unfortunately not going to learn from this situation either. They're still going to go out drinking and then drive afterwards, because too many people just aren't smart enough to comprehend how stupid it is. I feel no remorse for Ryan whatsoever. He knew exactly what he was doing, he just chose to ignore it.

  70. 70

    Re: SpiceGuy – This could have easily been avoided much like a teen pregnancy..since lately that's all I see and hear about are idiot mistakes that can be avoided..just saying.

  71. 71

    Like we didn't all know this already.

  72. 72

    and ONE more thing.

  73. 73

    The police also said Dunn had a prior DUI conviction. He also had 23 driving citations before his death. Among them were citations for speeding and careless driving, driving an unregistered vehicle, driving without a license, two parking-related transgressions and a criminal mischief-damage to property citation."He (always) drove too fast and I yelled at him all the time about that," April said

  74. 74

    And this is why Roger Ebert did NOT have to apologize for weighing in
    "too soon."
    It was known that Dunn drank shots AND beer. The confirmation was only hours away, but several witnesses were around to fill in the gaps.
    Dunn, a real jackass, took an innocent life when he recklessly speeded and drove drunk.
    Speak the truth, and don't back down.

  75. 75

    Re: Novel1 – Sensitive much? either way they both died and its tragic.

  76. 76

    Roger Ebert was right. You have some shitty friends Ryan Dunn. And you were a shitty friend too.

  77. 77

    Re: dintx – I have no idea what Nick Hogan did to his friend or how he did it. So unless you want to actually send me a credible link with a full description of what happened then I will give you my opinion on it. Until then, I am taking my time to look it up since it is irrelevant to the conversation or to Ryan Dunn.
    I doubt that you even wanted my opinion on the Nick Hogan subject anyway and your question was rhetorical. All you were trying to do was make me look stupid or give yourself another exuse to contradict me and feel better about yourself.
    And to that other person who gave me the definition of murder: Yes, I know what it means for I am not illiterate. All I was saying is that Zach knowingly made his own decision and risked his own life. He knew what consequences could happen when getting into the car with a drunk driver and did nothing to stop Dunn or himself from getting into the car. Both were bad friends and they BOTH made their fate. Dunn did not only make Zach's.

  78. 78

    Re: Moogle80 – Exactly. Bartenders have a responsibility to cut people off when they have had too much to drink. I was a bartender for a lot of years and I pissed a lot of people off by cutting them off, but nobody ever died after leaving my bar.

    I don't buy his story that he didn't know Ryan was drunk. That is bullshit. Bartenders know what's up. We know exactly how much people have had to drink and whether it is enough to make them drunk. Even if they don't "seem" drunk….common sense is enough to tell us when we have over served.

  79. 79

    I laugh at all the dumbasses who tried to justify the fact that he wasn't drinking. "Oh, it could happen to anyone." He WAS drinking and he WAS well over speeding. It is his fault so stop trying to justify it.

  80. 80

    Well the passenger obviously knew he was getting into the car with a drunk driver so he's responsible also hes not a child. Even though this was stupid and could have easily been avoided it doesnt stop the pain his family and friends are going through now because they are the ones suffering.

  81. 81

    a lot of you are so cruel.. he is NOT a murder! If he was really drunk then obviously he isn't thinking clearly and will make stupid decisions! But let me tell some of you something.. if you are willing to let a drunk drive and get in there car with he or she then it is YOUR fault not the drivers YOURS! You should know better then to get in a car with someone who has been drinking..his friend could have said no.. and if people were sober there they should have said something.. it is not his fault.. everyone made their own choices..and yes they were bad.. but calling him a murder is disgusting.. he didn't mean no harm..and his friend chose to get in the car with him.. they were obviously not thinking clearly if they were that drunk.. they are gone now.. it cost them their lives..what more do you want? leave them the fuck alone and let them rest in peace.. you will get yours too……………

  82. 82

    Good. Glad this retard is dead. It will prevent him from spreading the stupid gene onto his offspring. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE not a single logical nor smart excuse as to why one would drink and drive. That goes TRIPLE if you're rich, and QUADRUPLE if you're a hot chick.

    Hopefully the passenger's family sues his family for everything hes worth.

  83. 83

    I opted to give Ryan the benefit of the doubt until his b.a.c. came in, and the fact is, he was incredibly, incredibly stupid to have drive drunk. On the other hand, I think people need to shut up with their disrespectful comments. Honesty is good, and this is something people should learn from, but with two caveats.

    A. The people who are going to learn from this the most are Ryan's fans. Insulting him and calling him a murderer is only going to anger them and cause the opposite effect. There IS such a thing as teaching a lesson while still being respectful, people. And enough with the hypothetical statements. Yes, he MIGHT have killed an innocent, but he DIDN'T. Concentrate on drunk drivers who actually did if you want to teach that particular point. The fact that he caused so much pain to his friends and family and those of Zach is lesson enough here. Which brings me to;

  84. 84

    B. Stop portraying Zach as the completely innocent victim. He chose to get in the car with Ryan, and JUST AS MUCH as we need to be honest about how stupid Ryan was, we need to be honest about this. Getting in a car with someone who is as drunk as it looks like Ryan was is never smart, and always avoidable. Instead of saying he's the only one anyone should feel bad for, you should be pointing out (RESPECTFULLY) that he could easily have avoided it. How many kids get in a car with drunk friends every year and end up dead because of it? That's a lesson that needs to be taught too.

    Both of these deaths were a tragedy to those who loved these men. By all means, use them as an example of what not to do, but try to remember that they were two men who REALLY lost their lives, and try to have some level of tact. It's a little thing that the majority of you seem to lack.

  85. 85

    I hate commenting on these things, because I'm not coming back to read it.
    However, I live in PA, fairly close to the accident.
    The bar has released the footage from the bar that night, and Ryan does not appear intoxicated at all.
    So maybe his friend didn't realize how drunk he was. Maybe he was a functional drunk, and did this kind of thing all the time. Maybe his friend egged him on to go faster. Maybe something happened that we'll never know and he was completely depressed and just wanted to end things and Zach came along. Seems like an awful lot of maybes to me.
    We'll never know the full story of what happened that night because unfortunately the only two who knew what happened ended up killed.
    The lesson isn't that Ryan was a murderer or a drunk. The lesson really is if you are going to drink, don't drive. One drink is too many drinks to get behind the wheel.

  86. 86

    Re: Team Kim Richards – that friend choose to get in that car, gosh the people on here are so hearless, i never seen such judgementel people then on this website!! on every article you find on this site atleast half of the people say hatefull things! yes its wrong that he got in the car after drinking that much but do you really think he wanted this? stop judging somebody, like literally! like all the peope on here are perfect..

  87. ptay says – reply to this


    the guy had like 20 driving citations and a previous dui. its not a tragedy or accident but rather his time ran out and he stopped being lucky. please people, even tipsy driving is drunk driving. call a cab, call the police, anything. even if you dont end up crashing, getting a dui, having your license taking away, going to jail, having a record,difficulty gettig hired etc, and for what? because you stubbornly wanted to drive your car home? its so not worth it.

  88. 88

    I wonder if the same people defending "poor old Ryan" who made a "simple mistake" would be this defensive if it was Billy Joe Bob Smith regular guy. It's disgusting that there are people that worship celebrities so much, that even if they do something awful as what Ryan did, they always think it was no big deal and that poor Ryan was a victim.

    I doubt they would stick up for someone that wasn't a celebrity.

  89. 89

    Re: Vampire Slumber Party – This is a tragedy that could've been avoided. WE ARE WELL AWARE OF THIS. We're a little angry too. We are not worshiping at the altar of Ryan Dunn. We are generation of misfits that grew up with these guys. They are like family to us in a way. That's why we get angry when you people make him out to be a villainous "celebrity". We just don't see him that way and never will. Get over it, Dumbass