‘Star Trek’ Actor Anton Yelchin Dead at 27 After Freak Car Accident

June 19, 2016 2:59 pm Last Updated: June 19, 2016 4:08 pm

Anton Yelchin, an actor who appeared in a “Star Trek” reboot, died in a car crash Sunday. He was 27.

John Cho, an actor who appeared alongside Yelchin in the film, confirmed Yelchin’s death.

“I loved Anton Yelchin so much. He was a true artist—curious, beautiful, courageous. He was a great pal and a great son. I’m in ruins,” Cho said. “Please send your love to Anton’s family right now. They need it.”

Yelchin’s publicist confirmed his death on Sunday, Deadline.com reported.

“Actor Anton Yelchin was killed in a fatal traffic collision early this morning. His family requests you respect their privacy at this time,” Jennifer Allen said in a statement.

Jenny Hauser, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department, also confirmed Yelchin’s death Sunday morning.

“A fatal traffic collision happened in Studio City. On Sunday, June 19, at 1:10 in the morning, a fatal traffic collision occurred. It was the result of the victim’s own car rolling backwards down his steep driveway, pinning him against a brick mailbox pillar and security fence,” she said.

“The victim was on his way to meet his friends for rehearsal. And when he didn’t show up, his friends went to his house, where they found him deceased by his car,” Hauser added. “It appeared he had momentarily exited his car leaving it in the driveway.”

Yelchin was behind the car, which caused “the trauma which led to his death,” she said, according to USA Today.

Yelchin started as a child actor and appeared in various roles in indie films and television shows, before breaking out in movies like “Alpha Dog” and “Charlie Bartlett.” He also played the teenage Kyle Reese in “Terminator Salvation.”

But his biggest role was in the “Star Trek” reboot films. “Star Trek Beyond,” the third film in the series, comes out next month.

Yelchin, an only child, was born in Russia. His parents were professional figure skaters who moved the family to the United States in 1989, when Yelchin was just 6 months old.

His parents made the move to Los Angeles for the sake of their son, so he didn’t have to grow up in the volatile environment of the Soviet Communist regime.

“We were afraid for our son,” Yelchin’s father Viktor told Los Angeles Times at the time.

The Yelchin’s were also persecuted for their Jewish religion and blocked from traveling after Viktor’s brother Eugene emigrated to the United States.

Eugene Yelchin became a successful painter, children’s book author, and illustrator. Among other accomplishments, he designed the characters of the Academy Award-winning animated movie “Rango.”

Once in Los Angeles, Anton’s family first stayed with his uncle Eugene, but quickly made it on their own as his parents resumed their skating career.

Anton was not particularly good at skating, so his father had a more conventional career in mind for him.

“Because, we’re Russian Jews, so naturally, what does your kid do? He goes to law school or he goes to med school,” Anton told The Associated Press in 2011.

But Anton was fond of acting, especially improvisation, and his father ultimately accepted his choice to pursue acting as a career.

Yelchin’s family requests privacy at this time.

Epoch Times reporter Petr Svab and The Associated Press contributed to this article.