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John Denver on stage with guitar
Details Found In John Denver's Autopsy Report
History - Science
Content Warning
This story contains graphic descriptions of death.
Folk legend John Denver also had a lifelong love of flight, which inspired him to become a fully-fledged pilot. Tragically, it was this passion that killed him.
On October 12, 1997, Denver died in a tragic plane crash. His autopsy put several lines of speculation to rest and revealed the horrifying details of how the crash proved so fatal.
Sadly, John Denver's crash into Monterey Bay was reportedly high impact, with witnesses claiming they saw the plane enter steep decline shortly before it hit the water.
Horrifyingly, Denver's autopsy report describes how his dismembered body was recovered from the wreckage in separate parts, with several pieces of his anatomy missing.
This included a large portion of his head. His death certificate states that his remains were found around 150 yards from the shore.
The toxicology report published alongside Denver's autopsy found no evidence that he had any alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the crash.
Still, it was reported that seven months before the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board denied Denver an aviation medical certificate due to his prior DUI citations.
Because of this, his pilot's license was actually invalid, and it was technically illegal for him to have taken to the air on the day of his death.