Keith Whitley: Age 33 | Cause Of Death: POOR MAINTENANCE

(b. 1 July 1955, Sandy Hook, Kentucky, USA, d. 8 May 1989, Goodlettsville, TN)

At the age of 17, he survived a 120 mph car crash which killed a friend, and at 19, he drove a car off a cliff into a river. Whitley joined J.D. Crowe And The New South and his lead vocals on SOMEWHERE BETWEEN, were appreciated in Nashville. He subsequently returned to drinking, which resulted in him dying at his home in Goodlettsville, TN in 1989.   The cause of death, alcohol poisoning.  The alcohol  level –roughly the equivalent of 20 shots of 100 proof liquor drunk in two hours time.
Whitley had been an alcoholic from the beginning of his career, long before he had reached the legal drinking age. He had unsuccessfully tried treatment and therapy, and had even claimed to have conquered the disease, but this was not so. Whitley was not a social drinker, rather he consumed liquor when he was alone, making it difficult for those around him to detect his drinking. Indeed, though relatives saw Whitley and claim that he was sober as late as two hours before his death, he was found dead in his home near Nashville on May 9, 1989, with a large quantity–nearly five times Tennessee’s legal limit for driving–of alcohol in his bloodstream; traces of Valium and cocaine were also found. ~