Travis Barker and current music-making partner DJ AM were seriously injured in a plane crash last night. The pair had just performed a free show for South Carolina college students and were flying back to Van Nuys, California.
Officials said the plane carrying six people was departing shortly before midnight Friday when air traffic controllers reporting seeing sparks. The plane hurtled off the end of a runway and crashed through antennas and a fence. It came to rest on an embankment across a five-lane highway and was engulfed in flames….
The four other people aboard— the pilot, the copilot, Barker’s personal assistant, and his security guard—did not survive the crash. Both Travis and DJ AM are currently in critical condition at
a burn center the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia. We’ll keep you updated as more details are released. Below are other links related to the accident:
- AP report and photos.
- CNN report.
- MSNBC video report with photos of the crash [ad alert].
- MTV report with reactions from Barker’s and DJ AM’s families.
- More family info from People.
- Recap from Perez Hilton.
- Detailed recap from Stupid Celebrities.
- TMZ photo gallery of Barker and DJ AM at the show before the crash.
- WIS News 10 report with comments from an eyewitness.
- Crash site photos [via Karma for Drums]
Update [from the MSNBC report]: One witness reported seeing “two men thrown from the plane, dumped on the highway, on fire.” The witness then reported that the men were “patting each other down and stripping off their clothes because they were burning.” The men
may have been were Travis and DJ AM.
Update [from the WIS News 10 report]: Eyewitness William Owens said, “I didn’t know what I had seen—it was maybe 800 feet in front of me, but as I approached it closer though I made out a fire. By then I was able to see the tail of the jet and I recognized it as a jet….It’s in flames and the fuel is running across the road and I had to cross the fuel to get to the two guys that seemed to have been dumped on the highway….” According to the report, “the two men were in the road trying to extinguish themselves. He [Owens] then asked the men if there was anyone else on board the plane and they said four more were with them.”
Update [from TMZ]: “Sources tell us Travis Barker and DJ AM saved their own lives after their plane crashed by jumping out the door of the burning plane, almost immediately after the small jet came to a halt.”
Update [from Stupid Celebrities]: “Travis Barker is said to be severely burned from the waist down, but expected to survive. DJ AM has severe burns on his face, which are being tended to currently. Sad news, Chris Baker, Travis Barker’s assistant died in the plane crash. To make this bad news worse, Chris Baker, 29, had recently married and has a new baby.” This information appears to have originated from TMZ.
Update [again from TMZ]: A publicist for Barker and DJ AM released the following statement: “Both Travis Barker and Adam Goldstein (DJ AM) are in critical but stable condition and are being treated at Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia after surviving a plane crash late last night in Columbia, South Carolina. The hospital will issue a statement with an update on their condition at 9:00 am eastern time tomorrow. Due to the nature of the injuries and the evolving course of treatment no further information on their condition is available at this time.”
Update 9/21/08 [from MTV]: Doctors treating Travis and DJ AM stated today that both men are expected to make a full recovery. Travis has second- and third-degree burns on his torso; DJ AM has second- and third-degree burns on his head and arms. Well-wishers can show their support by going to Doctors-Hospital.net, clicking on “Visitors,” and then “Email a Patient.”
Update 9/21/08 [from Perez Hilton]: PH is quoting insiders as saying that Travis’s fighting spirit was intact after the crash and that he was “defiant after the accident and didn’t want to be lifted in a helicopter, but rather an ambulance, so they had to knock him out.”
Update 9/21/08 [from E!]: The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing, but a member of the National Transportation Safety Board has stated that the plane’s crew members thought a tire burst as they started down the runway.
Update 9/21/08 [from WIS 10 News]: “Barker and Goldstein [DJ AM] remain in critical, but stable condition. Doctors say both men should be able to return to performing after they have healed from their burns in a year.”
Update 9/22/08 [via Stupid Celebrities]: Video and audio recorded at the crash site have been released. It’s believed that Travis is the man pleading for an ambulance. Very unpleasant to hear, so listener beware.
Update 9/22/08 [from Us]: Shanna Moakler, Barker’s ex-wife, released the following statement today: “There are not enough words to express how thankful we are for the outpouring of love and support we have received during this very difficult time. We can only ask for prayers as we heal and mourn the loss of our dear friends who we considered part of our family. Our lives will be changed forever.” Rapper Jermaine Dupri visited Barker over the weekend and said, “He’s doing good…but I really hate to see my friends go through this.”
Update 9/22/08 [again from Us]: It appears that authorities are still focusing on a faulty tire as the cause of the crash. Goodyear, the manufacturer of the tire, released the following statement: “We have been contacted by the NTSB [National Transportation Safety Board] and will cooperate fully with its investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this accident.”
Update 9/23/08 [from MTV]: Travis Barker is trying to remain upbeat after multiple surgeries for the second- and third-degree burns on his torso and lower body. Lieutenant Josh Shumpert of the South Congaree, South Carolina, police department provided the following information about the post-crash events: “[Barker and AM] told me that they slid down the wing on the right side of the plane. They said they were on fire and that they tackled each other and put each other out. When I got there they were on the side of the road. They were pacing and in shock. Travis was very shaken up.”
Update 9/24/08: Video from the first police officer at the crash site.
Update 9/24/08 [from Extra]: Copy of the 911 call placed at the crash site.
Update 9/24/08 [from Yahoo!]: This report provides more information from the first police officer, Lt. Jason Shumpert, who first arrived on the scene. “Travis, you could tell he was in pain,” Shumpert said. “He just kept saying: ‘That’s my friends in the plane, that’s my friends in the plane.’”
Update 9/25/08: The following quote is making the rounds on various rumor sites but should at this time be considered unconfirmed info: “From what we’re hearing, Travis Barker is a hero. When the doomed plane started hurtling about, Travis and DJ AM were sitting in the front seats. They turned around and saw a ball of fire roaring in the back of the plane and watched in horror as it engulfed their friends seated in the back. Travis realized what was coming and he pushed the door open and grabbed DJ AM and pulled him out of the moving plane. They were both on fire and ran screaming as fast and as far from the fiery plane as they could. DJ AM can’t sleep and somehow is able to text friends in spite of his hand burns. He’s worried about his scalp being burned off. Travis is quiet—he’s on more painkillers.”
Update 9/25/08 [from Contact Music]: DJ AM returned to Los Angeles today by bus. No word yet on when Barker will be released.
Update 9/26/08 [from SPIN]: Travis’s friend and business partner Jermaine Dupri said that the drummer would most likely be released from the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in “about two weeks.” DJ AM returned to LA yesterday.
Update 9/30/08: The New York Post has incurred some wrath (and, predictably, a whole lot of pageviews) for its recent headline about Barker taking the bus back to LA: “Fear of Frying.”
Update 10/3/08: The latest rumors (beware of extremely irritating floaty ad if you click on the link) suggest Travis may have been admitted to the burn center at USC and is suffering from serious burns on over 50% of his body.
Update 10/6/08 [from MTV]: Tom DeLonge speaks about Barker’s accident: “Just like you guys, I was freaked out about the entire thing….Everyone wanted to know what I think, but it’s not about me. It’s not about Tom at all, and it’s not about Blink at all. It’s about Travis and his family, so stop worrying about what I think, and what I feel, and what I’m going to say, because it doesn’t matter.”
Update 10/7/08 [from AP]: Barker gave an interview to US Weekly: “I hate planes….My biggest fear ever is to be involved in a plane crash, so when that happened … well, I’m just thankful to be alive! I’m just grateful to be here at all.” He then continued, “I am doing the best I can possibly be….I’m so anxious to get out of here. … I’ve just been in surgery after surgery. I have third-degree burns basically from my feet up to my waist and both hands. One of my hands has second-degree burns and one has third-degree burns.”