TMZ has been following the story, from when Yelchin's friends found him pinned between his car and a brick mailbox pillar at the security gate of his home. Law enforcement told TMZ the engine was running, with his car -- a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee -- in neutral. They're not sure why he got out of the Jeep, but the driveway is reportedly on a steep incline, and the vehicle rolled backwards, pinning Yelchin against the gate.
The site reported that Yelchin died from blunt traumatic asphyxia.
Digging deeper into what might have caused the accident, TMZ said the Jeep the actor drove was recalled because the shifting mechanism caused drivers to unintentionally leave it in the wrong gear. The site quoted a recall notice that went out on May 14, 2016, reading, "Drivers may inadvertently fail to achieve the PARK position before exiting." Yelchin reportedly did not get the fix to his Jeep, which TMZ suggests may have led Yelchin to believe the car was parked when it was in neutral. That's speculation, and not official, but it does raise questions.
Whatever the official cause, Yelchin's family, friends, and industry colleagues are left in mourning, with J.J. Abrams -- who directed Yelchin as Chekov in both "Star Trek" and "Star Trek Into Darkness" -- sharing this hand-written note:
— Bad Robot (@bad_robot) June 19, 2016
Yelchin will appear posthumously in "Star Trek Beyond," which will be released July 22.
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