On April 12 1979 Bykov was returning from his country house to Kyiv in his car. In a head-on collision he was killed. On December 12 1978 he had turned fifty.
There was a lot of speculation following his death whether it was a suicide or an accident. The investigation revealed that Bykov did not attempt to brake or slow down. But in his letter which was rightly regarded as his will, he said that “Never believe anyone who will say I’ve taken my life. If I die it is only because I’ve reached the end of my tether.”
Two years later, his cinematographic friends made a documentary about him …kotoroho vse lyubili, or “…whom everybody loved.” And one of the hitherto nameless asteroids was named after him.