When Charlie’s Angels’ Kelly Lynch Had A Tragic Car Crash And Almost Lost Her Legs

Elif Ozden

Recognized for her role in the 2000 film ‘Charlie’s Angels,’ Kelly Lynch opened up about the horrific car crash that almost took her life when she was just 20 years old. While cruising on a Minnesota freeway, Lynch was involved in a head-on collision that led to severe injuries, shattering her femurs and thigh bones.

The Car Crash That Nearly Cost Kelly Her Legs

Natalie Cook (Cameron Diaz) and Vivian Wood (Kelly Lynch), a scene from ‘Charlie’s Angels’ (2000)

At the time, the doctors, considering the severity of her injuries, suggested a grim prognosis — the amputation of both her legs due to a high risk of gangrene. As Kelly told People in 2019, this was a difficult thing to process for her:

“I can’t tell you how horrible it was. I was an athlete; I was a state champion swimmer; I was a dancer. I always thought, ‘My intelligence is in my body,’ so if that was going to be taken away from me, I didn’t know what I was going to do.”

However, Lynch’s mother rejected this suggestion, opting instead to find an alternative solution for her daughter.

In time, they located a surgeon who employed an innovative approach. Through two small incisions in her hips, he inserted mechanical elements into her legs. This surgery, though grueling, eventually led to Lynch regaining her ability to walk.

Despite the accident, Kelly did not shy away from her active lifestyle. As People reports in the same article, she performed her own stunts in ‘Charlie’s Angels,’ even with enduring occasional pain and a decreased ability to fully bend her knees.

Kelly’s Personal Recovery After The Accident


Over the years, Lynch turned this traumatic experience into a motivation for living each day with gratitude and a commitment to positive change. She made it her mission to do whatever she could to improve the world:

“After the accident, everything was a gift. Someone gave me a second chance, and I didn’t want to let my mother down. I tried to make every day since then a great day, and I think my religion is leaving things better than I found them.”

According to Kelly, one step towards this mission is something she does daily:

“I walk my little miniature blonde long-haired dachshund named Ram, and we bring bags with us and clean up garbage. That’s what I can do. I do it every day, and almost everything I pick up is a hundred percent recyclable.”

This mission to make a difference isn’t restricted to her local neighborhood. Lynch once teamed up with fellow actor Billy Baldwin to tackle marine pollution. As she recalls, the duo took on the task of cleaning a beach at Martha’s Vineyard:

“A bunch of plastic had washed up in Martha’s Vineyard on this beautiful stretch of beach — he looked at me and said, ‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking?’ I was like, ‘Of course! I’m a garbage collector!’ He went and got a bunch of VR bags, we separated things that could be recycled, and we collected 60 bags of garbage. The beach was beautiful at the end.


Lynch also puts her belief in positive action into her philanthropic efforts. She works with the organization ‘This Is About Humanity,‘ aiding children, separated families, refugees, migrants, and asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana.

Her efforts extend beyond simple support, as she also collaborated with the luxury brand Asprey to host an event, raising funds and awareness for the cause.

Lynch’s determination also translated into her acting career. Following her accident, the actress played in productions like ‘The L Word,’ The CW’s reboot of ‘90210,’ and ‘Mr. Mercedes.’ More recently, she was cast in ‘On the Rocks,’ directed by Sofia Coppola.

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