Paul O'Neill, Trans-Siberian Orchestra Leader, Died of Prescription Drug Overdose: Report

Paul O'Neill of Trans Siberian Orchestra photographed in Amsterdam on Feb. 12, 2011.
Paul Bergen/Redferns

Paul O'Neill of Trans Siberian Orchestra photographed in Amsterdam on Feb. 12, 2011.

A month after Trans-Siberian Orchestra leader Paul O'Neill died at age 61 from what was described as chronic illness, the Associated Press is reporting that the mastermind behind the perennial holiday favorite touring extravaganza was felled by a deadly mix of prescription drugs. According to a copy of the autopsy report from the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's office in Tampa, Florida, O'Neill died of intoxication from a mixture of methadone, codeine, Valium and an antihistamine. 

Doctors pegged the cause of death as intoxication and the manner of death as drug abuse, noting that O'Neill also suffered from heart disease, hypertension and moderate hardening of the arteries. The medical examiner said the death was accidental. O'Neill was found dead in his room at the Tampa Embassy Suites hotel by staff. 

An official statement from O'Neill's family reported that the multi-instrumentalist died as a result of an "unexpected reaction" to prescription medication for his various ailments. "The Hillsborough, Florida medical examiner's office has determined the official cause of Paul O’Neill’s death as accidental, resulting from an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications to treat his numerous chronic illnesses (including bone augmentation surgery, complications from spinal fusion surgery, heart disease, and hypertension)," read the statement released on Tuesday (May 30).