Yesterday afternoon, a Widespread Panic tour bus was involved in crash as the band and their crew were on the way to Ames, Iowa for last night’s show. Crew bus driver Tom Torrisi had a heart attack behind the wheel when heroic merch manager Rachel Kellenberger jumped into action and pulled the vehicle over to the side of the interstate. Unfortunately, Torrisi passed away even after another crew member administered CPR.
When JB and Co. finally performed last night, they played an emotional performance filled with somber songs that in some cases referenced the fragility of life.
Set One: Hope In A Hopeless World, Pleas>Mr Soul, Dirty Side Down, Bears Gone Fishing>Shut Up And Drive, St Louis, Picking Up The Pieces, Lil Kin, Good People w/ Dark Bar, Who Do You Belong To?
Set Two: Old Neighborhood, Imitation Leather Shoes > Worry, Down > Mercy > JAM > New Speedway Boogie, Travelin’ Man > Vacation, Rebirtha, Space Wrangler
Encore: May Your Glass Be Filled > Are You Ready For The Country?
[via Panic Stream]
Lots of rumors went flying about what happened on Thursday, so we’re thankful that the band set the record straight by issuing a statement…
Our good friend, Tom Torrisi, passed away from a heart attack while at the wheel of one the Widespread Panic crew buses. The bus and crew were en route to Ames, Iowa on the morning of Oct. 27th.
As the vehicle left the road, merchandise manager Rachel Kellenberger positioned herself in the driver’s seat and brought the bus to a stop in the highway (I-35N) median. Crew member John Switzer administered CPR. One other crew member, Eric Bice was treated for head injuries after being thrown from his bunk during the accident. All other passengers were shaken, but otherwise un-injured.
In the midst of our shock and sorrow, we’re extremely proud of the whole crew in the way they looked after Mr. Torrisi and each other during the incident. Tom was Widespread Panic family, a good soul, funny hearted and well respected. We will forever miss the snickering smile that we all grew to love. Be at peace our lovable road wizard. Much Love to you, Tom Torrisi! You were definitely one of a kind, sir!
Our Hearts and Love reach out to Tom and the Torrisi Family.
Shortly after the accident, with police still on the scene, another collision occurred in the I 35 southbound lane. Our Sadness and and Blessings extend to all those involved, as well
Widespread Panic Band & Crew
[Hat Tip – Jambands.com]