What part did Jackass play in Ryan Dunn death? Dunn died the same way he lived: fast and hard. Known for his dangerous, self-injuring stunts on Jackass and Viva La Bam, Dunn's actions show how he would often take his life and safety for granted. Did Dunn have an addiction to the rush that comes from surviving danger? Did the same shows that made him famous fuel that addiction and ultimately contribute to his death?
The actor and stuntman was first seen in four homemade videos with his friends Bam Margera, Brandon DiCamillo and others from their hometown of West Chester, PA. They called themselves the CKY Crew, which stood for Camp Kill Yourself. The videos were made while the group was cutting highschool classes and were a variety of crazy humor and pranks, stunts, general crazy behavior and often dangerous, unsuccessful skateboarding attempts. This was the beginning of making a living based on danger with no thought of any type of safety precautions, or the possibility that any serious injury may take place.
Jeff Tremain saw The CKY Crew videos and offered the group the TV series, Jackass, where they continued with their often dangerous and over-the-top stunts and pranks. The popularity of the TV series led to Jackass The Movie, where viewers could watch more cringe-worthy activities. There seemed to be nothing these young men would not do to themselves, including stapling their scrotum and putting toy cars up their butts. In one scene, Johnny Knoxville was a passenger in a golf cart that Ryan Dunn was driving. Dunn was supposed to drive the golf cart into a statue of a pig, which was supposed to crush under the weight. The statue didn't crush, and the golf cart flew into the air from the force of the impact, landing upside down on Knoxville, and throwing Dunn from the cart. Whenever anything dangerous happened, hilarity usually ensued from everyone involved, providing proof that it's fun to come close to injury or death.
Viva La Bam
In the TV show, Viva La Bam, the group performed more dangerous stunts, although the show focused mostly on torturing Bam Margera's parents with pranks.
Ryan Dunn loved speed. He was cited 23 times in 13 years, with 10 speeding and careless driving tickets. Three times he was found driving with a suspended license. This is enough proof that he had a need for speed and eventually something really bad was going to happen, yet his friend, Zachary Hartwell, still got in the car with him and let him drive. Police say he was going at least 130 mph when he lost control of his car early Monday morning. The car took flight over a guard rail, tearing through trees and erupted in flames.
Dunn was arrested for drunken driving in 2005. A picture of him at a bar hours before the crash shows him glassy-eyed and red-faced. He loved to have fun, and take chances. He mistakenly thought the dangerous fun would never lead to any serious injuries.
(Photo Source: Wiki Media Commons)