Johnny Carson’s Son Killed in Auto Plunge

Entertainer Johnny Carson’s son was killed when his car plunged more than 100 feet down an embankment near the beach community of Cayucos, authorities said Monday.

Richard Wolcott Carson, 39, of North Hollywood, was thrown from his four-wheel-drive vehicle and apparently died instantly in Friday’s accident, said Officer Russ Johnson of the California Highway Patrol. Johnson said Carson was driving on Cayucos Drive, a narrow service road adjacent to California 1, when he apparently became distracted and plummeted down a 124-foot hill. Cayucos is about 180 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Private funeral services were held Sunday in Los Angeles, an NBC spokesman said. Johnny Carson issued no statement Monday. The late-night talk show host had been preparing to leave for the Wimbledon tennis championships in England when he was notified of his son’s death. Richard Carson was one of three grown sons from the entertainer’s first marriage to Joan Buckley. His two remaining children are Christopher, 40, and Cory, 38.