CelebreCaust '09 has claimed an unusually high number of big names (in no particular order), with the deaths of Michael Jackson (acute propofol intoxication; ruled involuntary manslaughter), Natasha Richardson (brain injury), David Carradine (accidental strangulation), Billy Mays (heart attack), John Hughes (heart attack) and Brittany Murphy (likely a drug overdose combined with an eating disorder plus pneumonia, and then her husband died a few weeks later) coming out of nowhere. Plus, two very young sports stars killed in car accidents — Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed the same night he started a game. Also: Kim Peek (heart attack) the Real Life inspiration for Rain Man; Farrah Fawcett (colon cancer); Patrick Swayze (pancreatic cancer); Ed McMahon; Bea Arthur; Ricardo Montalban; and James 'The Rev' Sullivan of Avenged Sevenfold.
Vocalist and bassist Peter Steele, former addict, atheist and iconoclast. Finally came clean, switched to a healthier lifestyle, found himself some faith and started recording a new album. Boom, dies from a heart attack on April 14th, 2010.
Celebrecaust'10 was notable for the passing of several figures in the world of old school anime. First Carl Macek(heart attack, controversial producer best known for Robotech) in April, Peter Keefe (throat cancer, producer of Voltron) in May. Peter Fernandez (lung cancer, voice of Speed Racer) in August. And Yoshinobu Nishizaki (Producer of Space Battleship Yamato also known as Star Blazers) in November. Nishizaki's death is very notable as he died in an accident in which he fell off his boat, also named Yamato. All these figures were connected with historically significant anime that paved the way for anime in general to be internationally popular.
FBI counter-terrorism expert John P. O'Neill, who investigated the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, was called back to investigate Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda's plan for another attack on American soil. Just 19 days before 9/11, O'Neill stated that Al-Qaeda would, "Try to finish the job." O'Neill was killed in his office in the World Trade Center in the September 11th attacks.
William Henry Harrison became the first President of the United States to die in office, just one month after taking the oath, in 1841. Nobody had given much thought to what to do if the president dies; so John Tyler, his vice-president, just up-and-declared himself president. For the rest of his presidency, his opponents would bitterly call him "his Accidency".
Auto racing, especially in its early history, is synonymous with this trope, both in Formula One and in NASCAR. Doesn't matter your skill level (otherwise Ayrton Senna and Dale Earnhardt would not have died in their fatal wrecks), or your safety equipment, you can die if just one thing goes horribly wrong. Then again, this isn't too surprising, considering the speeds some series reach (Formula One and Le Mans get up over 200 MPH, for example).
How bad was it in the early days? As Jackie Stewart put it, in the sixties and seventies, if you raced for five years, you had a two in three chance of dying, because, back then, safety was basically nonexistent
In Indy crashes driver deaths were common until safety became a priority. However, even with all the safety modern technology could provide, Dan Wheldon was killed in an Indy Car race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 16, 2011, when his head slammed into the catch fence, causing fatal blunt force trauma.
Special mention also has to go to Motorcycle racing, as it's impossible to have as much safety as one would get in a racing car (as there is nothing around the rider except the firesuit, helmet, and any padding under the suit) the chance that a crash will cause serious injury or death is much higher than it is in, say, an Indy car.
Another notable incident was the aptly named Le Mans Disaster where a magnesium-bodied Mercedes was sent flying off the track after the Austin-Healy in font of it braked heavily, and the Mercedes crashed into its rear end, then the dirt berm on the side of the track. In the aftermath of the incident, where only this one car left the circuit, 83 spectators and the Merc's driver were dead.
Horse-back riding also follows this trope, due to the nature of the horse as a prey animal with a mind of its own. You could be the best rider in the world, you could have ridden for 20 years. But make one mistake or have one freak occurence nearby that scares your horse (even a horse known to be 'bombproof' can freak out if, for example, an animal runs between its legs), and you could be seriously injured or killed.
Operation Entebbe an Israeli counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission which resulted in the death of dozens of enemy soldiers and the rescue of nearly ever hostage. Only one friendly soldier was killed and it was from a lucky sniper shot, outside the building being assaulted. It just so happens that the commando killed was Yonatan Netanyahu, the most decorated soldier on the team, and the commander.
If the name sounds familiar, there's a reason; Yoni Netanyahu's younger brother, Binyamin, is currently the Prime Minister of Israel.
In hide's case, he was only 33 years old, and while he was The Alcoholic and had mental health issues and possible drug problems, much of the latter two were concealed, he maintained a fairly happy public face, and he was so good at exploiting the Lunatic Loophole to avoid consequences for a life lived without care for his life that it was an absolute shock to anyone who heard that he had actually died, and from what he actually died.
Taiji, on the other hand, had far more obvious problems, but also had escaped so many brushes with death and survived so much that, before his death, he was on pace to be seen as the Keith Richards of Japan, in that whatever life threw at him, nothing would kill him. Unfortunately, someone or a group of someones did, and covered it up as suicide.