America celebrates Matthew Broderick for starring in cult classics like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but the star is not so well remembered in other parts of the world. Back in August of 1987, Matthew Broderick committed manslaughter while traveling through Northern Ireland — a crime that his adoring fans are all too happy to overlook.
At the time of the incident, Broderick was vacationing with his then-girlfriend, Jennifer Grey (who plays Broderick's sister in Ferris Bueller's Day Off). The two decided to squeeze in the trip after Broderick finished filming Biloxi Blues and before Grey began making publicity rounds for Dirty Dancing.
Whether he was blinded by love or lulled by his own seemingly impeccable stardom, Broderick was responsible for a terrible car accident that killed two women. Even after the crime had been reported, Broderick was never convicted of vehicular manslaughter, prompting outrage from the victims' friends and family. Life moves pretty fast, and if you're not careful, your fame might just lead you to become a murderer.
Broderick May Have Been Driving On The Wrong Side Of The Road
In America, cars are required to drive on the right-hand side of the road, but in Ireland, cars stick to the left. While many travelers are able to adapt to this global inconsistency, not all are so lucky.
After Broderick crashed his car on a perfectly straight, curve-free Irish road, many speculated that the accident was caused by the star's confusion as to which side of the street he should be driving on. Both of the women killed in the accident were Irish natives, so it stands to reason that they were intimately familiar with Irish driving laws.
When asked directly about what side of the road he remembers being on by People, Broderick's answer was vague at best:
"Nobody knows yet. I can’t talk about that too much.”
While it's entirely possible that Broderick has no memory of the accident, the way he frames it causes one to wonder whether the star's forgetfulness was spurred by legal motivations.
The Duo Chose To Drive Around Ireland On A Rainy Day
After flying into Northern Ireland, Broderick and Grey rented a BMW 316. On August 5, 1987, the stars began the drive from Irvinestown to Maguiresbridge. At some point along the way, they encountered a sudden downpour which forced them to stop at a gas station. While the rain had stopped by the time they got back on the road, the pavement was still noticeably wet.
A Police Officer Described Broderick's Route As "Just Stupid"
After listening to their tale, the officer informed them that the route they were on was “just stupid” and offered to lead them to a more sensible road. All kindness aside, Broderick wasn't interested in a change of plans, and the couple departed along their original route. The officer followed their car for a few miles, and noted that Broderick “wasn’t going fast.” He estimated that the car was moving less than 40 mph.
The Women Killed Were On A Family Outing
While car accidents are uniformly tragic, it was especially disheartening to learn that Broderick's two victims were related to one another. Margaret Doherty, a 63-year-old widow, suffered from multiple sclerosis, and had been confined to a wheelchair for the five years leading up to the accident. Her 28-year-old daughter, Anna Gallagher, lived just 45 miles away and would often come by to take her mother shopping. At the time of the accident, Gallagher and her husband had been hoping to start a family. Tragically, both were pronounced dead at Erne Hospital.