10 October 1959 - 18 December 2000: Age 41
Kirsty MacColl was a British musician and songwriter who was active during the 80s and 90s, getting a lot of attention from other artists for her witty, biting, sometimes sad works. She is probably best known (to me at least) for the song "In These Shoes", which was played over the runway scene in Kinky Boots. Her worldly success was uneven, and came slowly, primarily due to bad luck with record companies who didn't seem to know how to classify her material.
In the year 2000 she was she took a vacation with her family to Cozumel in Mexico. On December 18 she and her sons were diving in an area that was supposed to be free of boats. As the group surfaced, a powerboat drove into the area, heading for one of the boys. MacColl, who was not in the boat's path, was able to push him out of the way, but in the process put herself under the boat and was killed instantly. The boy had only minor injuries.
As it happens, the boat in question was owned by a Mexican millionaire. One of his employees claimed to have been driving (this is disputed by witnesses). He was sentenced to 2 years 10 months in prison but was able to get off by paying a fine of about US$90, plus punitive damages of US$2,150 to her family. It is rumoured that he was paid to take the fall.
Here is a link to another song she wrote that was made popular by the Pogues, perfect for this time of year: Fairytale of New York. Enjoy!
Sources: Wikipedia, Justice for Kirsty Campaign