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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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"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."

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"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.

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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".

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"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."

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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.

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"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.

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