Josh Turner Expresses ‘Devastation and Grief’ Over Crew Bus Crash
Nearly one week after the bus crash that killed one member of his road crew and injured seven others, Josh Turner has spoken out about the accident. The country star is mourning his longtime crew member David Turner, and praying for the injured members of his touring family.
"As I try to write this I don’t know what to say. It’s a struggle to put into words the devastation and grief that our road family is trying to process," Turner wrote on Facebook on Tuesday (Sept. 24). "We lost a beloved member of our team, David Turner. He was like a brother to so many in this industry and a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Please continue to keep David’s family in your prayers."
In addition to David Turner, who had been working with Josh Turner (no relation) since early 2006 and had been in the music business for four decades, the tour bus that crashed late on the night of Sept. 18 in Shandon, Calif., was also carrying 26-year-old Carl Hardin, 26-year-old Justin Lambert, 39-year-old Bradley Dratnol, 56-year-old Richard Lazarus, 59-year-old John Dauphniee, 59-year-old Jed Downing and 66-year-old James Mayo. All of the men "suffered significant injuries," Turner says, "and many have long roads to recovery."
"I would ask that you give them privacy during this time," Turner writes, adding that his management company has created a GoFundMe to help the men and their families. "Your prayers have been felt. Please keep praying."
The tour bus crash occurred after Turner's Wednesday night concert in Paso Robles, Calif., on Highway 46 near McMillan Canyon Road. The bus, which was being driven by Dratnol and was part of a caravan of buses that included one carrying Turner, drove off the road and through 20 yards of vegetation, then went down an 80-foot cliff, hitting the sand of a dry riverbed below. The front end of the bus sustained major damage, and a trailer that was being towed by the bus flipped on top of the bus.
An eyewitness to the crash reports that the tour bus was traveling approximately 60-65 miles per hour at the time of the accident, in an area in which the speed limit is 55 miles per hour; someone on a bus following the bus that crashed says they did not see brake lights go on when the bus left the road. California Highway Patrol officials are working to determine what caused the crash, but have ruled out drugs or alcohol as a cause; they are also exploring the possibility of mechanical issues, and have impounded the vehicle. Charges will likely be filed because of the death and injuries.
Turner has postponed all of his remaining September shows. According to a representative, they will be rescheduled for a later date.
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