Boston Legal actor Justin Mentell died Monday after crashing his Jeep in rural Wisconsin. The 27-year-old actor was reportedly not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from his SUV after driving off an embankment and hitting several trees.
Justin Mentell, who played attorney Garrett Wells on Boston Legal, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Mentell is believed to have lost control of his Jeep, which slid down a steep embankment and struck several trees. The crash is believed to have happened around 4 a.m. on Monday, but police were not called to the scene until 8:30 a.m.
The Iowa County Sheriff’s Department said Mentell was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the SUV at some point during the crash. It is unknown if alcohol or drugs may have been a factor in the accident at this time, but police do not currently suspect Mentell was intoxicated at the time of the accident.
“We don’t believe that alcohol was a factor in the incident; there was no evidence of that here,”Â Iowa County Sheriff’s Dept. Sgt. Daniel Carey said in a press statement. “It is possible that Mr. Mentell fell asleep at the wheel, as his mother told us that he liked to take long drives on his own and the area he crashed was pretty secluded… there was some snow lying on the surrounding areas, [but] the road conditions were clear and dry, so, they would not have been a contributing factor either.”
William Shatner, who co-starred with Mentell on Boston Legal, said he was “deeply saddened” by the loss of the promising young actor. “There’s no telling how far up the ladder he may have climbed,” ShatnerÂ posted on his Twitter feed. “My sympathies to his family.”