Given the crazy nature by which they lived it was perhaps inevitable that one of the “Jackass” cast would eventually wind up on the ‘died too young’ list. Ryan Dunn, the unofficial 4th member of the Margera family, was the first to go when his Porsche left the road at high speed and collided with a tree. In the ensuing eruption and had the impact not finished them, Dunn and his passenger were killed in a ball of flames.
He had been socialising with friends at Barnaby’s of America in West Chester a few hours prior to the accident and it was reported at the time that he’d consumed three Miller Lites and three ‘girly’ shots over a four hour period, this according to a friend who said he was “not too drunk to drive”.
Police at West Goshen reported that Dunn was identified by an eye witness on the scene who recognised his tattoos as he was pulled from the wreckage.
It was at around 2:30 a.m. on Route 322 that the accident happened and police state that his vehicle was travelling at such a speed that it hurtled through 40 metres of forest before hitting the tree.
Their statement read, “Preliminary investigation revealed that speed may have been a contributing factor to the accident.”
The manager of Barnaby’s told NBC Philadelphia that “Ryan didn’t appear drunk before he left” at 2 a.m.
As an almost permanent fixture in the Margera household, Ryan was considered part of the family by April, mother of famous-for-nothing, Bam, who said, “He’s just the sweetest guy you’d ever want to know and he would do anything for you.”
She and husband Phil Margera paid a simple yet tearful tribute to Dunn whom they considered a son.
“I know the entire ‘Jackass’ family is devastated and all of West Chester is devastated,” she said.
According to April, Dunn was renowned for driving excessively fast and she often told him to slow it down. He had been involved in a bad accident a little over ten years ago but that didn’t deter him from putting his foot down.
“He drove too fast and I yelled at him all the time about that,” said April.
In the immediate aftermath of his death, The Jackass crew were largely unreachable but Johnny Knoxville tweeted, “Today I lost my brother Ryan Dunn. My heart goes out to his family and his beloved Angie. RIP Ryan, I love you buddy.”
MTV followed that up with a similar message which simply read, “We’re deeply saddened by the passing of a member of the MTV family, Ryan Dunn. Our hearts and thoughts are with his friends and family.”
Bam Margera, Dunn’s best friend was in Arizona at the time of the accident but in the following days, after he emerged from his grief, he engaged in some verbal aggravation on Twitter after various journalists insulted his best friend. He cited their lack of respect as the main reason for his tirades.
Since Dunn’s death the Jackass party has dwindled somewhat although plans are afoot to make a new film.