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Actress Rebecca Gayheart Opens Up About Her Car Accident That Killed A 9-Year-Old Boy

47-year-old actress, Rebecca Gayheart, recently opened up in an interview about what it was like to be involved in a car accident that killed a nine-year-old boy and how it has affected her life since.

Rebecca Gayheart had a pretty solid acting career going for her in the late '90s and early '2000s.

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She's best known for her roles in Beverly Hills 90210, Urban Legend, Nothing To Lose, Jawbreaker and Scream 2.

In 2001, she was involved in a car accident that ended in a tragic death of a nine-year-old boy.

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Since then, naturally, she's pumped the breaks on her career — taking on more infrequent and smaller roles.

What we didn't know was that she was dealing with severe depression following the accident.

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And it's taken her nearly 20 years to finally feel able to open up about it publicly.

She opened up about the details of what her life has been like since then on a podcast called "The Only One in the Room."


She shared that she still experiences PTSD from the accident, and has spent a large part of her life since then wanting to kill herself.

She explained that on June 13th, 2001, she was driving — when suddenly the car in front of her stopped.

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Instead of hitting the breaks as well, she decided to go around the car.

She admitted that she definitely shouldn't have done that.

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"If a car in front of you hits their brakes and they stop, you don't go around them to avoid hitting them," she said.

"You hit them [the breaks] because there's a reason they're stopping," she explained.


"I couldn't see that reason, but that is something that everyone should know."

As she tried to drive around the stopped car, she struck nine-year-old Jorge Cruz Jr. as he ran across the street, chasing a soccer ball.

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Rebecca was sentenced to probation, a one-year suspension of her license, a $2,800 fine and 750 hours of community service after pleading no contest to vehicular manslaughter.

She settled a wrongful death lawsuit issued by the child's parents out of court.

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She was required to pay for his funeral and his medical expenses.

"I did not cope very well after," she revealed.

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"I just didn't want to live after that accident. ... I couldn't handle it at all, so I spent about a year just trying to kill myself."

"Basically by doing every self-destructive thing a person can do because I just didn't understand … any of it," she continued.

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“Right now, my kids are everything, my kids keep me in line," she told People Magazine in another interview.

She added that she "can't imagine what his parents are still feeling like."

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"I still have those questions, but today I am able to ponder those questions and still realize that I deserve to be happy".

"I am meant to be on this planet and that I have a purpose," she went on.

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"I'm making living amends for that, even though it was an accident."

As the anniversary of the accident approaches, she revealed that people are very sensitive towards her — showing her kindness and compassion.

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“People have been kind to me, which is nice," she said.

"I felt very loved my last couple of weeks, people have reached out to offer support, so it’s been a positive experience."

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Thankfully, Rebecca has been able to make peace with her mistakes and focus on moving on.