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Published on Sep 9, 2011
In the early morning hours of July 23, 1982, Morrow and two children, My-Ca Dinh Le (age 7), and Renee Shin-Yi Chen (age 6), died in an accident while filming on location for the Twilight Zone: The Movie in Ventura County, California, between Santa Clarita and Piru. Morrow was playing the role of Bill Connor, a racist who is taken back in time and placed in various situations where he would be a persecuted victim: as a Jewish Holocaust victim, a black man about to be lynched by the Ku Klux Klan, and a Vietnamese man about to be killed by U.S. soldiers. Morrow, Le, and Chen were filming a scene for the Vietnam sequence in which their characters attempt to escape from a pursuing U.S. Army helicopter out of a deserted Vietnamese village. The helicopter was hovering at about 25 feet above them when pyrotechnic explosions damaged it and caused it to crash on top of them, killing all three instantly. He was decapitated along with one of the child actors.
Morrow is interred in Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Director John Landis and other defendants, including producer Steven Spielberg and pilot Dorsey Wingo, were ultimately acquitted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment. The parents of Le and Chen sued and settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. Morrow's children also sued and settled for an undisclosed amount.