Bob Saget was the beloved comedian most well-known for his role as Danny Tanner on the 80s/90s sitcom Full House. Tragically, he passed away while on tour in Orlando on February 9. He had a devastating head injury that authorities believe he sustained from a bad fall. This is what we know – and why you should never sleep on a head injury.
Comedian Bob Saget Dies From Traumatic Head Injury
On Wednesday, February 9 of this year, Bob Saget’s family announced that the beloved comedian and actor tragically died. He was found unresponsive on his hotel room floor in Orlando, Florida, the Sunday prior. The doctors who performed the autopsy found that he had suffered from what seemed to be a significant injury to the back of his head. This injury caused a fracture in several places in his skull and caused bleeding across both sides of his brain. (1)
The Orange County Sheriff’s office who performed the investigation said that there were no signs of foul play. The autopsy report also found no signs of drug use. It appears as though Bob Saget suffered from some kind of accidental fall where he hit his head. Either unaware of the extent of the injury or the injury left him incoherent. He went to sleep and then never woke up. (2)
“It is most probable that the decedent suffered an unwitnessed fall backwards and struck the posterior aspect of his head,” said Dr. Joshua Stephany, chief medical examiner of Orange and Osceola counties in Florida.
A Tragic Accident
In their announcement of his death, the family said that Saget hit his head, must have thought nothing of it, and went to sleep rather than seek medical attention. Experts say that if he hit his head hard enough, it is possible that the fracture would have extended to other parts of his skull.
Dr. Jeffrey Bazarian, an emergency physician and concussion expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center, described it “like an egg cracking”. He explained that if you hit the skull hard enough in one spot, it can crack from front to back. This is what appears to have happened to Bob Saget. The experts also say that they are doubtful that Saget simply ignored the injury – it was far too extensive for him to think nothing of it. Dr. Bazarian said that likely the injury left him confused if not unconscious.
“I doubt he was lucid,” Dr. Bazarian said, “and doubt he thought, ‘I’m just going to sleep this off.’”
An Unusual Injury
Another thing that the experts agree on is that it is an unusual injury. The extent of the damage done to his skull is normally seen in car crash victims or people who have fallen from very great heights. In these cases, however, there is other bodily damage. The rest of Bob Saget’s body, however, was injury-free.
“This is significant trauma,” said Dr. Gavin Britz, the chair in neurosurgery at Houston Methodist. “This is something I find with someone with a baseball bat to the head, or who has fallen from 20 or 30 feet.”
Tests did find signs of Clonazepam, commonly known as Klonopin, a benzodiazepine that is used to prevent seizures and treat panic attacks. They also found Trazodone. Doctors say the combination of these two drugs can make people feel sleepy and contribute to falls, but that this does not mean these drugs caused the incident. Still, the sheriff’s report and the autopsy found no signs of foul play, illegal drugs, or other substances. It appears as though this was just a terrible, tragic accident. Bob Saget leaves behind his wife Kelly Rizzo and three daughters from a previous marriage, Aubrey Saget, Lara Melanie Saget and Jennifer Belle Saget.
Well-Loved And Well Remembered
The family released a statement and Saget’s wife Kelly also posted on Instagram about the outpouring of love and support the actor and comedian and their family was receiving. (3)
“In the weeks since Bob’s passing, we have been overwhelmed with the incredible outpouring of love from Bob’s fans, which has been a great comfort to us and for which we are eternally grateful,” said the family statement. “As we continue to mourn together, we ask everyone to remember the love and laughter that Bob brought to this world, and the lessons he taught us all: to be kind to everyone, to let the people you love know you love them, and to face difficult times with hugs and laughter.”
In her post, Rizzo described Bob Saget as a positive person who was always reminding them to live life as care-free as possible.
“He had so many hardships over the years that he would always tell me ‘look, life is hard, we need to enjoy it as much as possible,’” she wrote.
Rest in peace, Bob Saget, and our condolences to his family and loved ones.