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Ryan Dunn Car Crash

Parents of Dead Passenger

Sue ... He Killed Our Son

8/8/2012 3:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news


The parents of the passenger who was also killed in Ryan Dunn's fatal 2011 high speed car crash are suing the "Jackass" star's estate ... claiming Dunn was extremely drunk when he wrecked his Porsche and is responsible for killing their son.

TMZ broke the story ... Dunn had been drinking HEAVILY before he crashed his Porsche into a tree at 132 mph in Pennsylvania in June 2011 ... killing himself and his passenger Zachary Hartwell.

Now, Hartwell's parents have filed a lawsuit against Dunn's estate AND the bar where Dunn had been drinking before the crash ... claiming Barnaby's West Chester was negligent in serving Dunn after he was obviously hammered.

The Hartwells also claim Dunn was reckless and negligent by operating his vehicle while under the  influence of alcohol ... and should not have been driving at extremely dangerous speeds.

Zach's parents are suing for unspecified damages ... claiming they've lost the services, guidance, and comfort of their son. And they want Dunn's estate to cover expenses associated with Zach's death ... including funeral costs.

Zach's parents are also suing on behalf of their son's estate ... claiming Dunn and the bar should pay for the "pre-impact fright, fear, pain and suffering" that Zach experienced before he died.

Zach's parents also want both parties to pay for the wages Zach would have earned during his lifetime.


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If your son was old enough to drink, he was old enough to know that driver was drunk and yet he decided to get in the car with him. Sad that he's dead but nobody held a gun to his head and made him make that fatal decision. It's about being held accountable for ones actions.

807 days ago


So how much responsibility does the passenger take for making the decision to accept a ride from someone who was so clearly intoxicated? Seems to me there is fault on the part of all parties here.

807 days ago


talk about "sour grapes"....zach's parents need to get over it...

807 days ago


how is it Ryan's (or his estate's) fault, that Zach wanted to give him a hummer at 132 mph?....It sounds like Ryan's family should be suing Zach's estate for the terrible b.j., that led to this tragedy...

807 days ago

laser bat    

"claiming they've lost the services, guidance, and comfort of their son."

"Zach's parents also want both parties to pay for the wages Zach would have earned during his lifetime."

Was this guy his parent's meal ticket or what

807 days ago


**** off. No one held a gun to your dumb ass sons head to make him get in that car and after getting just as drunk as Ryan. Typical 'Merican.

807 days ago

jenni kins    

What a load of sh#t. Want money to cover pre-impact fright and fear. Hello! You're mates with a Jackass star, who has little to no fear, he was probably having an awesome time. And nobody told him to get in the car with an obviously wasted guy, that's his own poor judgement. So why should they get paid for that. Did they not teach his kid right from wrong? Clearly not when they are trying to take unnecessary amounts of money from Dunn. I understand they're upset they have lost their son, but I tell you, no amount of money is going to bring him back!!

807 days ago


As sad as this is, friends do not let "Jackass" friends drive drunk or you do not get in the same vehicle if they are.

807 days ago


Everyone is saying pretty much the same thing...if Zachery hadn't got into the car with Ryan, he'd still be alive.. If Zachery had THAT much sense, he'd have stopped Ryan getting into that car too. The Bar isn't responsible. Not even negligent.. You would assume that a man would know his limits and take a cab home. Its a tragic accident that killed two friends. If Ryan had survived..then maybe Zachery's family would have a case. But sadly, I just think that their grief has turned into greed, just because Ryan Dunn is 'that famous bearded one from Jackass'. End of the day, NO amount of money in the world can replace the loss of a loved one. so the family should just accept that it was a crazy stupid accident, and move on. Because this will drag on the grieving process for all concerned.

807 days ago


As much as I think Dunn is a killer for what he did that night still does not make this case ok... First the guy was not a kid anymore and was with Dunn all night in a bar so any sane judge should toss this out just for the fact the guy was like 30 or so.. his parents have no right to sue on his behalf or for something that has happened to him since they are no longer his guardians

jut more sad people who think money will do something.....

807 days ago


Like, i respect most of that, except the payment of wages, like whats the use in that since he's dead? i feel like the family are trying to leech all the money they can get.

807 days ago


If there was no money involved, there would be no lawsuit... Sad.. Life is not fair...but to do something for money, doesn't sit well with me... Bet Ryan and zack are the WTF really?

807 days ago

The Beef    

Only in America.

807 days ago

laser bat    

"Zach's parents are suing for unspecified damages ... claiming they've lost the services, guidance, and comfort of their son"

WHAT?! was their son their meal ticket?

807 days ago


Zach was just as responsible for his death as was Dunn. He could have decided not to go into the vehicle with Dunn. They were both drinking heavily and they both made a terrible mistake. Suing will not make the pain go away.

807 days ago
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