Coroner rules Anton Yelchin's death an accident


The death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin has been ruled an accident, a Los Angeles coroner's official has said.

Coroner's spokesman Ed Winter said a post mortem performed on Sunday determined that the 27-year-old actor died of blunt force asphyxia after his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee pinned him against a letter box pillar and a security fence in his driveway.

The accident took place early on Sunday.

Winter said any toxicology results will take months to analyse.

A portrait of Anton Yelchin

It has emerged that the SUV that killed the actor was being recalled because the gear shifters have confused drivers, causing the vehicles to roll away unexpectedly.

Fiat Chrysler, which makes Jeeps, said in a statement that it is investigating and that it is premature to speculate on the cause of the crash.

Most 2015 model year Grand Cherokees were part of a global recall of 1.1 million vehicles announced by Fiat Chrysler in April.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urged the recall amid complaints that drivers had trouble telling if they had put the automatic transmissions in park. If they weren't in park and a driver left the vehicle, it could roll away.

Anton Yelchin at a premiere

Many celebrities have expressed their condolences online following the death of the actor, who was best known for playing Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek films.

His co-star Zachary Quinto wrote on Instagram: "Our dear friend. our comrade. our anton. one of the most open and intellectually curious people i have ever had the pleasure to know. so enormously talented and generous of heart. wise beyond his years. and gone before his time. all love and strength to his family at this impossible time of grief."

Filmmaker JJ Abrams, who directed Anton in 2009´s Star Trek and its 2013 follow up Star Trek Into Darkness, wrote a touching note that he shared online.