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SPOILER ALERT: Which Major Character Died On Grey's Anatomy?

| Filed under: TV NewsPatrick Dempsey

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Warning: This post contains spoilers from Thursday night's episode of Grey's Anatomy. Proceed with caution.

A major character died on Grey's Anatomy Thursday night. SPOILER AHEAD!!

Dr. Derek Shepherd, one of the ABC drama's original characters and the love interest of the title character, was killed off. After saving three victims of a car accident, he became a car accident victim himself.

Reports have been swirling for weeks that actor Patrick Dempsey would be leaving the show. But since he had signed a two-year contract extension that would take him through next season, many fans thought he would continue, even if it was in a diminished role.

[ Related: Patrick Dempsey's Real-Life Divorce Drama ]

Creator Shonda Rhimes made it very clear that Derek's time was up.

"His loss will be felt by all. Now, Meredith and the entire Grey's Anatomy family are about to enter uncharted territory as we head into this new chapter of her life. The possibilities for what may come are endless. As Ellis Grey would say … the carousel never stops turning."

Despite rumors of tension between Shonda and Patrick, she only had praise for the actor:

"Patrick Dempsey's performance shaped Derek in a way that I know we both hope became a meaningful example – happy, sad, romantic, painful and always true – of what young women should demand from modern love.

Patrick's post-show statement was a bit more matter-of-fact:

"Things happened very quickly, where we were like, ‘Oh this is where it's going to go.' It just sort of unfolded in a very organic way… It happened very quickly."

In eleven seasons, Derek had a number of near-death experiences, including a plane crash and being shot. Will you miss the character?

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