Sixty years ago, on September 30, 1955, on a lonely stretch of two-lane highway in Northern California, James Dean was killed in a head-on collision. The Porsche Spyder 550 he was driving slammed into a Ford sedan when its driver did not see Dean coming and made a left-hand turn in front of him. In the violent wreck, Dean’s neck was broken. He died on impact. He was 24 years old.
James Dean loved racing cars, and in fact he and his brand-new, $7000 Porsche Spyder convertible were on their way to a race in Salinas, 90 miles south of San Francisco. Witnesses maintained that Dean hadn’t been speeding at the time of the accident but some people point out that he must have been driving awfully fast: He’d gotten a speeding ticket in Bakersfield, 150 miles from the crash site, at 3:30 p.m. and then had stopped at a diner for a Coke, which meant that he’d covered quite a distance in a relatively short period of time. Still, the gathering twilight and the glare from the setting sun would have made it impossible for the other driver to see the Porsche coming no matter how fast it was going.
James Dean’s legend began on this day, 60 years ago when he took his last breath on that lonely California highway. There are many notable James Dean quotes, this is one of his most memorable:
Life is short, break the rules (they were made to be broken)
Forgive quickly, kiss slowly
Love truly, laugh uncontrollably
And never regret anything that makes you smile.
The clouds are lined with silver and the glass is half full (though the answers won’t be found at the bottom)
Don’t sweat the small stuff,
You are who you are meant to be,
Dance as if no one’s watching,
Love as if it’s all you know,
Dream as if you’ll live forever,
Live as if you’ll die today.
Legacy Spine and Neurological Specialist pays respect to the tragic loss and legacy of a talented young actor who’s life and career was on the fast track to success.