Actor Anton Yelchin of 'Star Trek' films dies in freak accident

Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:50am EDT
 
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By Kevin Murphy

(Reuters) - Actor Anton Yelchin, best known for playing the young Russian starship navigator Chekov in the rebooted series of "Star Trek" movies, was killed on Sunday when accidentally crushed by his own car against a driveway wall, police said.

The Russian-born Yelchin, 27, died shortly after 1 a.m. after he apparently stepped out of his car in the steep driveway of his Los Angeles home and it rolled backwards, said Jenny Houser, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department.

"The car pinned him against a brick wall and a security fence, and that trauma led to his death," Houser said.

Yelchin was due at a rehearsal, and when he did not show up friends went to his house and found him dead, Houser said. No foul play was suspected, but the accident was under investigation, she said.

A number of actors and others who worked with Yelchin took to social media with tributes and expressions of dismay.

"Still in shock. Rest in peace, Anton," Justin Lin, who directed Yelchin in his third "Star Trek" movie, wrote on Twitter. "Your passion and enthusiasm will live on with everyone that had the pleasure of knowing you."

Yelchin was best known for assuming the role of Pavel Chekov, the young navigator on the bridge of the starship Enterprise, for the 2009 re-launch of the "Star Trek" film franchise and two sequels - 2013's "Star Trek Into Darkness" and the upcoming "Star Trek Beyond," set to open on July 22.

The Chekov character was originally played on television in the 1960s "Star Trek" series, and in the first seven big-screen adaptations of the show, by actor and writer Walter Koenig.   Continued...

 
Cast member Anton Yelchin poses during the photo call for the movie "Burying the ex" at the 71st Venice Film Festival September 4, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile