Members of the Los Angeles based metalcore band The Ghost Inside are lucky to be alive after their tour bus collided with a semi truck just outside of El Paso, TX yesterday morning according to a report by local TV station KFOX TV. The band was traveling along Highway 180, en route to their next show in Mesa, AZ when the horrific accident occurred. Bus driver Gregory Hoke and truck driver Steven Cinningham were both killed, and of the band members as well as several crew members suffered serious injuries. Drummer Andrew Tkaczykt, vocalist Jonathan Vigil and guitarist Zach Johnson were air lifted to a nearby medical center, each in critical condition. Tkaczykt’s brother Nick wrote via social media that his brother suffered head trauma as well as broken bones and an injured shoulder. He is facing possible surgery and is currently in the ICU. Specifics of the other band member’s injuries are not known at this time. Bassist Jim Riley and another guitarist named Chris Davis were listed to be in stable condition along with crew members Nathan Wilden, Armando Cardona, and Timothy Irons. Two other crew members, Charles Anthony Billings, Danny Lupio were seriously hurt.
The band has released a statement about the incident, which they posted to their Facebook:
Thanks to everyone who reached out with concern today. The Ghost Inside was involved in a serious bus accident outside El Paso, TX this morning. All 5 band members + all members of the crew are alive and currently being treated for their injuries. Please keep them in your thoughts as well as their bus driver and those in the other vehicle who did not make it. Unfortunately, all US shows on the Locals Only Tour are cancelled. Refunds available at point of purchase. We will update you more when we can.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to help raise money for medical expenses as well as the funeral costs for Hoke and Cunningham. The goal was originally set for $40,000 but in just one day the page has earned upwards of $75,000. Popular rock band Bring Me The Horizon donated $10,000 and also commented on the crash, asking their own fans to reach out and help:
“Yesterday as we came offstage we heard that our good friends in The Ghost Inside were involved in a terrible collision whilst on their tour bus in America. Unfortunately the drivers in both vehicles sadly passed away, and a large number of the band and crew have sustained serious injuries and are currently in care. Our thoughts are currently with the band, crew and families of all involved in this horrible accident.
We first toured with The Ghost Inside in 2008 and have remained good friends with them since. Proceeds from our merchandise on this tour have been donated to a gofundme account set up to help with medical bills. We urge our fans to get involved and help with whatever you can donate…”
Kansas City based rock group Architects also contributed $1,000 to the cause.
At this time there is still no word on what may have caused the crash or if speed was a factor. The Ghost Inside is slated to play in Australia later this year but it is not know if those dates will be cancelled.