Star Trek Actor Anton Yelchin Killed at 27 in Freak Car Accident
"His family requests you respect their privacy at this time," Yelchin's representative said in a statement to PEOPLE
brightcove.createExperiences(); Actor Anton Yelchin, who appeared in the Star Trek films and Terminator Salvation, died early Sunday morning in a “fatal traffic collision,” his rep has confirmed to PEOPLE. He was 27.
“His family requests you respect their privacy at this time,” Yelchin’s representative said in a statement to PEOPLE.
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed to PEOPLE that Yelchin’s body was found pinned between a car and the gate of his home in Studio City, California. No cause of death has been declared yet while the coroner completes the autopsy. However, preliminary results were that he had head and chest injuries.
The medical examiner’s office also said that it’s believed the vehicle was not properly parked before Yelchin walked to the rear end of his vehicle and that the vehicle then rolled and pinned him between the car and gate. He was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m. local time on Sunday.
Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Yelchin and his family moved to the United States in 1989. His parents were celebrated Russian ice skaters Irina (n e Korina) and Viktor Yelchin.
In a 2007 interview with PEOPLE, Yelchin talked about going back to Russia for the first time:
“Yeah, I was born in Russia and I haven’t been back there,” he said. “Like, I came here when I was 6 months old and that’s it. So it’s gonna be a crazy adventure, you know?”
In the same interview, Yelchin reflected on how he found beauty in the world.
“I sometimes f ing hate people, that I f ing hate this world sometimes, but at others I just sort of calm down and look around and it’s a pretty incredible place,” he said. “It’s like, there’s so much terror [ ] in the world. There’s so much crazy s going on but at the same time, there are moments of such rare beauty. I think I stole that. That’s a line from somewhere. But it’s true.
“There are moments of something so beautiful like, people’s interactions are so complex,” he continued. “That’s why I hate it when people say they’re bored. You cannot be bored. This is not a world where boredom occurs, you know what I mean? This world is always crazy, it’s always hard to deal with, it’s always interesting.”
He enrolled in the University of Southern California in 2007 to study film. Yelchin was also interested in music and photography, and documented the latter on Instagram.
His last photo, a selfie during a trip to Nantasket, Massachusetts, was posted two weeks before his death.
Yelchin will appear this summer in the third entry in the rebooted Star Trek film, Star Trek Beyond.
In a 2009 interview with PEOPLE, Yelchin said he felt honored to play a part in such notable franchises.
“It’s bizarre. My past experience has been working on movies that take a month-and-a-half to shoot,” he said. “Then, suddenly, I’m there for six or seven months. But, I look at them as really interesting, great characters. Both of these characters – Chekov and Kyle Reese [in Terminator Salvation] – are challenges because they have been these iconic, previous characters and previous performance that were great, and that established this legacy.
WATCH: Costars and Other Celebs Remember Star Trek Actor Anton Yelchin
“So the challenge was to work with that legacy and to see how I could use it to inform my performance. It was just really interesting, and they were just really great characters to play, and I feel like I’ve been lucky to play them.”
The actor’s final film will be Thoroughbred, which he wrapped in Boston just two weeks before his death.
The project is a psychological thriller about a volatile friendship between two suburban teenage girls who discover that a murder might solve both of their problems. It will be released by Amazon and Roadside Attractions on Nov. 18.