Details of the fatal car crash of Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Gray in 1987

In 1987 Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Gray were in a car crash that changed the course of their lives forever. Indeed, it forced them to end their fledgling career shortly after.

Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Gray were two of Hollywood’s most popular faces, starring together in the hit movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. In 1987, Broderick had just finished filming “Biloxi Blues”, and Gray was also on his way to stardom with “Dirty Dancing”.

Before the iconic film’s release, the couple decide to take a romantic trip to Ireland. Sadly, this trip turned into a tragedy that haunted them forever.


On August 5, 1987, Broderick, 25, and Gray, 27, rent a BMW 316 and plan to drive from Irvinestown to Maguiresbridge, Northern Ireland. A downpour of rain slowed them down, and they stopped at a gas station for a while.

They later got lost and stopped to ask a policeman for directions. The policeman advised Broderick to take a better route, but Broderick ignored the suggestion and continued on his way. The policeman followed them for a while.

The roads were wet in Ireland, where you drive on the right side of the road. As Broderick was driving on a straight road with no bends, he collided with a vehicle carrying two local women.

The latter died in the crash, while Broderick and Gray survived. The victims were a 63-year-old widow in a wheelchair and her daughter, aged only 28. They were called Margaret Doherty and Anna Gallagher, respectively.

When the fire department arrived, Broderick kept asking, “Did I hurt them? Did I hurt them?” The actor was seriously injured, breaking his leg, and suffered lacerations to his face. In contrast, Gray survived with minor injuries but later chose to undergo surgery and change his face.

After the incident, Broderick took a month to recover. Many Irish people were upset that he got away with paying a $ 175 fine, and returned to the United States paying bail of $ 4,075. He was not charged with manslaughter, and left only a note expressing his regrets to relatives of the deceased.


Gray rose to fame for her role as Baby in “Dirty Dancing”. However, she stopped working some time later, unable to reconcile her recent accident with her sudden success.

She said in an interview: “I became America’s sweetheart within five days of the accident.” She then explained that “the juxtaposition of this deep heartbreak, the survivor’s guilt, and being celebrated as the new big thing didn’t fit. I didn’t feel good about being the darling of the city. “

Broderick continued to work, but he received fewer coins for a while because of what had happened. When he advertised Honda during the Super Bowl, he and the company were heavily criticized for making that choice.

After years of therapy, Broderick decided to meet the family of the two women he killed in the crash. In 2002, Matthew, Doherty’s son and Gallagher’s brother, said that while he still mourns the loss of his mother and sister, he knows Broderick didn’t kill them on purpose.

After the crash, Broderick was charged with causing death by dangerous driving and facing up to five years behind bars. However, he was later convicted of a less serious charge of reckless driving, and was fined $ 175, which the family called a “travesty of justice.”

Today, however, the relative of the victims shared that he had forgiven the actor and felt no anger towards him. The two met after the birth of Broderick’s first child with his wife, Sarah Jessica Parker.


In 1997, ten years after the incident, Broderick married Parker in a small ceremony. They have a son, James, and twins, Loretta and Tabitha. In 2001, Gray married Clark Gregg, and they welcomed their daughter Stella two months later.

Despite being married for 23 years, Broderick and Parker are no strangers to divorce rumors. However, they have proven all of these rumors to be untrue by staying strong, and also admit not knowing the secret to their lasting union.

Broderick couldn’t help but rave about his wife in a recent interview, saying he is grateful to her and loves her very much. He then praised her acting skills, congratulating her on her recent Broadway show titled “Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite”.

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