Famed action flick director Tony Scott had an anti-depressant and a sleep aid in his system when he committed suicide by jumping off a Los Angeles bridge in August, authorities said Monday.
The director of "Top Gun," "Beverly Hills Cop II" and "Crimson Tide" had a therapeutic level of Mirtazapine, which is sold under the brand name Remeron, as well as the insomnia medication Lunesta (eszopiclone) in his bloodstream at the time of his death, the Los Angeles County Coroner said.
The death was officially ruled a suicide caused by "multiple blunt force injuries" and drowning, the coroner ruled. "The multiple blunt force injuries would be from striking the water," Chief Coroner Investigator Craig Harvey told the Daily News. Police earlier confirmed that Scott climbed a barrier fence Aug. 19 and hurled himself off the peak of the massive Vincent Thomas suspension bridge in broad daylight.
The newly released coroner findings come after authorities released 911 recordings from at least five witnesses who reported Scott's suicide with a mix of shock and horror. "We are just on the Vincent Thomas Bridge, and there's a guy that looks like he's just about to jump off. Oh my God, he's jumped! He's jumped!" an unidentified woman told an emergency dispatcher in the recordings first obtained by TMZ.com. "It's dangerous. He just parked his car in the lane there, and he's jumped."
One early call said Scott, 68, was perched at the top of the towering 18-foot fence in San Pedro, Calif., apparently taking a moment to survey the situation. "There's a man that looks like he's trying to jump. He crawled on top of the wall," the woman who was driving toward Long Beach said. "He's actually on the top. He's straddling the top of the wall there." The witnesses said Scott parked his black Toyota Prius with its emergency lights flashing in the slow lane.
"Oh my gosh. He just jumped off the bridge…we slowed down on the freeway and saw him jump. Oh my God," another caller said.
"A guy just jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Long Beach," yet another called said.
"I'm sorry, a man just jumped?" asked a surprised dispatcher.
"A man just jumped!" the woman yelled.
An early report that Scott had been suffering from inoperable brain cancer was quickly refuted by his family. "We have been advised that Mr. Scott did not have brain cancer or (an) inoperable tumor," Chief Coroner Investigator Craig Harvey told the Daily News in August. He said Scott did not have cancer of any kind and left notes in his car and office. The notes purportedly did not list a clear motive. A full autopsy report that might shed light on the contents of the notes is expected in about two weeks.
"Tony was my dear friend, and I will really miss him," Tom Cruise said in a release. "He was a creative visionary whose mark on film is immeasurable." In an eerie twist, the director visited train tracks adjacent to the bridge exactly two years earlier for work related to "Unstoppable," his last movie, which featured actor Denzel Washington.
"Very sad. We did reshoots of #Unstoppable in the RR yard on Pier A Street under the bridge," location scout Scott Trimble wrote on Twitter shortly after the suicide. "Tony Scott was a good man." Trimble told The News he was surprised to find photos dated August 19, 2010, showing Scott in the shadow of the bridge where he would eventually end his life.
The British-born director was survived by his third wife and their twin sons.