Electric Jellyfish band crash in US claims two lives
Stefanie Balogh in New York, Karen Collier and Cameron Adams
(from Herald Sun)
A MELBOURNE rock band is devastated after a tragic car crash on their debut US tour killed a guitarist and his wife and injured other members.
Electric Jellyfish guitarist and singer Hayden "Haydo"
Sweeney, 24, and his photographer wife Bridget O'Brien, 26, died instantly when
the vehicle swerved to avoid hitting a deer on the Ohio Turnpike near Cleveland.
Frontman Mike "Beacho" Beach, 20, suffered head injuries and was
initially listed as critical but his condition has since stabilised, while the
bass player Adam "Camo" Camilleri, 24, suffered a broken arm.
Drummer Patrick "Guakko"Lias, 24, walked away with minor injuries and was staying near Cleveland Metro Hospital as he came to terms with the deaths and the abrupt end to their dream.
Lias’s twin brother Anthony said the tour was the culmination of four years' hard work and saving since forming the band at La Trobe University in Melbourne.
“They were hoping to get signed after the tour,” he said. “My brother was stacking shelves, saving money to get the tour together.”
He said the band were travelling between Detroit and Ohio
when Bridget apparently swerved to avoid a deer on the road.
The SUV flipped, skidded and smashed into a concrete barrier, leaving musical
instruments and luggage strewn across the road.
Ohio State Highway Patrol's Milan Post Sergeant Tony Myers confirmed two people had died in the crash and three other Australians were taken to hospital.
All occupants in the vehicle were wearing their seatbelts.
The tragedy happened less than a month into Electric Jellyfish's American tour.
The band, described as psychedelic, post-punk and experimental, launched a new single in Melbourne last month. They played at popular live music venues including The Tote in Collingwood and the Northcote Social Club.
Bridget had relocated from California to Melbourne.
The Plain Dealer newspaper said the female driver was working as the band's photographer and her husband was sitting behind her in the car when the accident happened.
Sergeant Myers said passengers in the vehicle claimed a deer had run across the road.
"The passengers are alleging that there was a deer that ran out that she swerved to
avoid so it appears to be an animal accident, that's not confirmed or proven but
that's the initial report that we are received,'' Sergeant Myers said.
Police said the car was a 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe which swerved off the
right side of the roadway on the Ohio Turnpike and struck a guardrail. It then
overturned and continued across the roadway, striking a concrete barrier on the
left side of the roadway.
The band's MySpace page showed they had a show in Detroit Wednesday night, and was scheduled to play in New York City Friday night.
I am so saddened by this news and my thoughts are with the band and their families.