As police continue to investigate the fiery car crash that took the life of “Jackass” star Ryan Dunn on Monday, a West Goshen Police Department dispatcher confirmed to MTV News on Tuesday morning (June 21) that an autopsy is under way on the body of the 34-year-old TV personality and amateur stuntman. It was unknown at press time when the autopsy results would be revealed.
The police source also confirmed the name of the passenger who was killed in the wreck, 30-year-old Zachary Hartwell of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Though Hartwell was not a member of the “Jackass” crew, he is listed as a production assistant on the second “Jackass” movie and was reportedly a recently married Iraq war veteran who had a small role in the Bam Margera-directed 2009 movie “Minghags.” Hartwell is credited on IMDb as a “car stunt driver” on the film.
According to TMZ, the autopsy is intended to determine if alcohol, among other things, played a factor in the high-speed crash. The one-car accident took place around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, and according to police, Dunn’s 2007 Porsche 911 GT3 flew through 40 yards of trees before it hit one and burst into flames. The initial police press release reported that the “preliminary investigation revealed that speed may have been a contributing factor to the accident.”
A series of images surfaced online of Dunn drinking at the West Chester bar Barnaby’s of America in the hours before the accident, but a spokesperson for the tavern told MTV News on Monday that Dunn did not appear intoxicated before he left the establishment.
Film critic and frequent Twitter user Roger Ebert weighed in on the controversy surrounding Dunn’s death on Monday, writing, “Friends don’t let Jackasses drink and drive,” an assumption that angered Dunn’s friends and fans. Dunn’s close friend Margera — who like the rest of the “Jackass” crew was devastated by their friend’s death — was incensed by the tweet, responding, “I just lost my best friend, I have been crying hysterical for a full day and piece of sh– Roger Ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents … about a Jackass drunk driving and his is one, f— you! Millions of people are crying right now, shut your fat f—ing mouth!”
Dunn was remembered by his friends and co-stars in a statement posted by Johnny Knoxville, producer Jeff Tremaine and the entire “Jackass” family. “I don’t really know what to say right now everybody, because the sadness is overwhelming, but today we lost one of our own. Our brother Ryan Dunn has passed. He died in a car wreck in West Goshen, Pennsylvania this morning at 3 a.m. Goddamn, that’s tough to write,” the statement read. “Our hearts go out to his family and his beloved Angie. Ryan will be missed and remembered by us all. Thanks for the kind words of support everybody.”
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