Jet Crash in S.C. Kills 4, Injures Drummer and DJ
Sunday, September 21, 2008
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C., Sept. 20 -- Hours after performing for thousands of South Carolina college students, the drummer of the defunct rock band Blink-182 and a celebrity DJ were critically injured in a fiery Learjet crash that killed the other four people on the plane, authorities said Saturday.
Officials said the plane 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 along a five-lane highway and was engulfed in flames, said Deborah A.P. Hersman, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board.
Travis Barker and Adam Goldstein, who performs under the name DJ AM, were in critical but stable condition at a burn center in Augusta, Ga., hospital spokeswoman Beth Frits said.
Two passengers -- Chris Baker, 29, of Studio City, Calif., and Charles Still, 25, of Los Angeles -- died, as did pilot Sarah Lemmon, 31, of Anaheim Hills, Calif., and co-pilot James Bland, 52, of Carlsbad, Calif., according to the county coroner. Baker was an assistant to Barker, and Still was a security guard for the musician.
The plane was headed for Van Nuys, Calif. It is owned by Global Exec Aviation, a California-based charter company, and was certified to operate last year, Hersman said.
Hersman said officials recovered the cockpit voice recorder Saturday but had yet to analyze it or determine whether the recording was in good condition. She said the weather was clear when the plane took off.
"We're working as fast as we can to document all the evidence," Hersman said. "We have not yet found anything, but we are looking at everything."
Barker and Goldstein had performed together Friday at a free concert in Columbia under the name TRVSDJ-AM.
The show, which included performances by former Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell and singer Gavin DeGraw, drew 10,000 people to the Five Points neighborhood near the University of South Carolina, Columbia Mayor Bob Coble said.
Barker, 32, was part of the punk rock band Blink-182 until it broke up in 2005. He went on to star in the MTV reality series "Meet the Barkers" with then-wife Shanna Moakler, a former Miss USA. The show documented the couple's lavish wedding and life.
Goldstein, 35, is a DJ for hire who was once engaged to Nicole Richie.