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The Day Ozzy Osbourne Nearly Died in an ATV Accident

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He did what???” These words (or others along these lines) have frequently echoed across the annals of rock ‘n’ roll history, but rarely louder than the time Ozzy Osbourne decided that jumping behind the wheel of an all-terrain-vehicle seemed like a good idea.

But, as news outlets from CNN to ATV Monthly reported, that’s essentially what transpired on Dec. 8, 2003, when the then-55-year-old legend embarked on what he thought was going to be a casual joyride across the grounds of his lavish estate on the outskirts of London.

Unfortunately, as Osbourne’s son, Jack, told reporters at the time, the elderly rocker soon found himself in a London hospital undergoing emergency surgery to address “a broken collarbone, eight fractured ribs that were pinching crucial blood vessels and a damaged vertebrae in his neck.”

Thankfully, the capable emergency surgical team at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, west of London, successfully patched up and stabilized Osbourne. And if anything good came out of this episode, it was his, and his family’s, realization that the aggressive regimen of prescription drugs that Osbourne had been placed on, to alleviate anxiety over wife Sharon’s cancer diagnosis, was partly to blame — not only for the ATV accident, but also for the singer’s general stupor, famously captured on the family’s popular reality TV show The Osbournes.

The irony of all this is that it wasn’t decades of alcohol and illegal drug abuse that almost did in the Prince of Darkness; it was an irresponsible dosage of legal drugs and a four-wheel contraption.

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