"Jackass" co-star was drunk when he died in car crash

Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:31pm EDT
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By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Ryan Dunn, a co-star of the hit "Jackass" movies, had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit when his speeding Porsche careened off a highway, killing him and a passenger, police said Wednesday.

The sports car was traveling at speeds of up to 140 miles per hour when the crash occurred early Monday in West Goshen, a suburb of Philadelphia, police said.

Dunn's blood-alcohol reading was 0.196, according to a toxicology report released by authorities. The legal limit in Pennsylvania is 0.08.

It wasn't the first time the daredevil personality, 34, got behind the wheel after drinking, authorities said, noting he was cited for driving under the influence in 2005.

Dr. Kendel Kidwell, a physician who is head of the emergency medicine department at suburban Abington Hospital said people who are not heavy drinkers would be impaired with a 0.196 blood alcohol level. They would suffer from an altered perception of their surroundings, slowed reflexes, slurred speech and an inability to concentrate, he said.

Heavy drinkers, however, would be able to "walk around normally," and in fact could suffer withdrawal symptoms if the level fell, he said.

The police report also said no "drugs of abuse" were found in Dunn's system.

The Chester County Coroner's office earlier ruled that Dunn and his passenger, Zachary Hartwell, 30, both of West Chester, died of trauma.   Continued...