The body of the Russian-born actor was found at around 1am on his driveway in San Fernadino, California. He had been hit by his own car, police sources told TMZ.
A friend found Yelchin’s body pinned between his car and a brick mail box, which was attached to a security gate.
The car was in neutral at the time with the engine still running, with the source adding that the driveway had a steep incline.
The friend had visited the home after growing concerned when Yelchin failed to attend a planned rehearsal earlier in the evening.
Police are still investigating the sudden death, but sources told TMZ that there were not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.
Yelchin’s publicist confirmed the sad news, saying in a statement: ‘Anton Yelchin was killed in a fatal traffic collision early this morning. His family requests you respect their privacy at this time.’
Yelchin started small with roles in indie films and various television shows, before breaking out in films like the crime thriller Alpha Dog and the teenage comedy Charlie Bartlett.
His biggest role to date had been as Ensign Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek films – the third of which, Star Trek Beyond comes out in July.
Yelchin was born in Russia, the son of well-known professional figure-skaters.
His parents Irina and Viktor Yelchin moved the family to the United States as political refugees when their only child was still a baby.
Yelchin’s famous friends and colleagues rushed to share their condolences after learning the tragic news.
‘This is unreal,’ the actor’s friend Anna Kendrick tweeted on Sunday. ‘Anton Yelchin is such a talent. Such a huge loss.’
His Star Trek co-star John Cho added: ‘I loved Anton Yelchin so much. He was a true artist – curious, beautiful, courageous. He was a great pal and a great son. I’m in ruins.’
Chad Michael Murray tweeted: Just heard about Anton Yelchin. What a great talent and good young man. Gone far too soon…Terrible loss. You will be missed.’
British comedian Matt Lucas wrote: ‘Dreadful news about Anton Yelchin. I thought he was an amazing actor.’
Chris Kelly was one of many to complement the growing star’s acting skills.
‘Very sad to hear Anton Yelchin has died,’ he wrote. ‘Do yourself a favor and watch “Like Crazy.” I love love love that movie. And he is amazing in it.’