Adam Goldstein, a popular disc jockey who went by the name DJ AM, was haunted by the Sept. 2008 plane crash in which he and Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker were seriously injured and four other people died.
"There's no reason why I lived and they didn't," he said last month in an interview at the Television Critics Association.
"It's something that I struggle with every day, you know, kind of wondering. But I’ve just realized I'm never really going to know. I'm alive, and I'm here, and I have another chance. So I have to do something better with my life this time," he said.
At the time of the accident, doctors said he and Barker would make a full recovery, but it would require months of rehabilitation. Both were seriously burned and suffered other injuries.
In the year since then, Goldstein mended, but he couldn’t escape his memories of the crash or the constant pain from his injuries. "The plane crash did change him and shake him up, but no one ever worried about him considering taking his own life, if that's what happened," a close friend told FOXNews.com.
Another friend told FOXNews.com that Goldstein "has been spiraling out of control since the plane crash. He was taking so many painkillers for his injuries, he slowly got hooked on them.”
Goldstein often acknowledged that he was a heavy user of crack cocaine, Ecstasy and other drugs, but in recent years he was proud of the fact that he was drug free.
On Thursday, Goldstein Tweeted, "New york, new york. Big city of dreams, but everything in new york ain't always what it seems." Police and paramedics were called to his Manhattan apartment at 5:20 p.m. on Friday in response to a 911 call because Goldstein had not been seen for two days. Goldstein's publicist released a statement Friday confirming the news of his death.
"The circumstances surrounding his death are unclear. Out of respect for his family and loved ones, please respect their privacy at this time," the statement says.
Goldstein was a popular deejay in the Hollywood, New York and Vegas club scene, and had struggled with weight, drugs and depression, according to People magazine.
After a night of doing cocaine, Goldstein, sat before a mirror and "could not move away from staring at myself," he said. He put a gun in his mouth. "I pulled the trigger, and it jammed," he recalled at the television critic’s event. "And I remember sitting there thinking, 'You know, I can’t even kill myself.' "
Goldstein pulled his life together, until the fateful day in September when it would change radically, and forever.
Just hours before the accident, Barker had performed at an event alongside Perry Farrell, the former Jane's Addiction singer, as well as singer Gavin DeGraw and DJ AM.
Barker's assistant, Chris Baker, 29, died, along with the jet's pilot Sarah Lemmon, 31, co-pilot James Bland, 52, and Travis' bodyguard, Charles Still, 25. Neither Perry Farrell nor Degraw were on the plane when it crashed.
Both Goldsein and Barker had serious burns and other injuries but both were expected to recover fully at the time of the crash. The injuries, however, required major rehabilitation.
An eyewitness named William Owens was driving down Highway 302 when he said he saw a fireball go across the road. "I didn't know what I had seen -- it was maybe 800 feet in front of me, but as I approached it closer though I made out a fire. By then I was able to see the tail of the jet and I recognized it as a jet," Owens said.
Owens then described what he saw as he approached the crash. "It's in flames and the fuel is running across the road and I had to cross the fuel to get to the two guys that seemed to have been dumped on the highway."
Owens said the two men (Barker and DJ AM) were in the road trying to extinguish themselves. He then asked the men if there was anyone else on board the plane and they said four more were with them. "We turned to the jet to try and see if there was anything we could do, but immediately, there was nothing anyone could do," Owens said.
For more on the Travis Barker plane crash see below:
- Travis Barker Gives First Interview About Crash (VIDEO)
- Eyewitness: Travis Barker Screamed, That's My Friends in That Plane
- UPDATE: Blown Tire Caused Travis Barker Plane Crash
- Travis Barker, DJ AM Expected to Make Full Recovery
- Travis Barker, DJ AM Critically Injured in Plane Crash; 4 Others Dead
- Shanna Moakler: 'Kim Kardashian Is a Fat Donkey'