CHOLAME, California (KSEE/KGPE) – At 5:45 p.m. on Sept. 30, 1955, 24-year-old actor James Dean was killed in Cholame, California.
The iconic actor was driving his 550 Porsche Spyder convertible he’d nicknamed “The Little Bastard” with his German Porsche mechanic Rolf Wütherich. They were on their way to a race in Salinas.
Movie actor and cultural icon, James Dean, starred in, ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ crashed and died near Highway 41 and Highway 466 now known as Highway 46 southwest of Avenal.
The California Highway Patrol said a 1950 Ford Tudor driving east on Highway 466 just west of the junction driven by 23-year-old Donald Turnupseed from Tulare.
Tunupseeed made a left turn onto Highway 41 headed north, toward Fresno.
As Turnupseed’s Ford turned onto Highway 41 from Highway 466 in the path of James Dean’s Porsche. Dean apparently tried to avoid the crash, but the two cars collided almost head-on.
Dean was taken to a local hospital where he died.
In the late 1970s, a memorial to James Dean was erected near the crash site in Cholame by a fan.
Every year fans from around the world come to the crash site to pay their respect to the movie legend.