MICANOPY, Fla. — A member of the touring heavy metal band Adrenaline Mob died Friday afternoon and six others were injured when a tractor-trailer hit the group’s RV and van on Interstate 75, The Gainesville Sun reported.
The New York-based band’s RV had a flat tire and pulled off the highway onto the shoulder before it was hit, the Sun reported. The band was on its way to a concert in St. Petersburg on Friday night. Killed in the crash was bassist David Zablidowsky, who also performed with Trans-Siberian Orchestra and ZO2, the New York Daily News reported.
One victim was in critical condition as of late Friday night, the Sun reported. Among the injured were Zablidowsky’s Adrenaline Mob bandmates singer Russell Allen, guitarist Mike Orlando and drummer Jordan Cannata — all reported by the Sun to be in serious condition. The band’s tour manager was also reported to be in critical condition.
The victims were occupants of the RV and van. The 59-year-old driver of the tractor-trailer, which was carrying cooking oil, was not injured.
The RV burst into flames after the impact. Drivers stopped to pull passengers from the vehicles, the Sun reported. A group of registered nurses from the University of Florida’s Shands Hospital stopped to aid the victims. The crash happened on the southbound side of the highway near Micanopy. The FHP was still investigating late Friday night.
Zablidowsky, 38, also known as David Z, played for more than a dozen years in the Tampa-based Trans-Siberian Orchestra, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He also toured with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. With his brother, he formed an organization that provides free rock concerts to New York public schools in an effort to inspire children, the Daily News reported.
Fellow band member Russell Allen revealed that a Marine’s bravery prevented the loss of more lives.
“Marine Lance Cpl. Patrick Dumon for his bravery in assisting me pull our Driver Jason from the wreckage and for attending to his wounds. And for helping me to secure and attend to Jane once I was able to get her free from the fire. Without his selfless act of courage I would not have been able to get them clear of the RV before it was engulfed in flames. On behalf of my band and crew I thank you,” he posted on Facebook.
Allen also remembered Zablidowsky and three other crew members who are in critical condition.
“Yesterday I was involved in an accident that took the life of my dear friend and band mate David Z Rock and left 3 of our crew in critical condition. I’m overwhelmed with sorrow. I am so grateful for the out pouring of love we have received from around the world. Please continue to pray for David’s family during this difficult time. And those in critical condition,” he said.
Friday’s concert at the State Theatre went on with only the local bands performing, the venue’s general manager told the Times. The Adrenaline Mob Facebook page lists Sunday’s concert in Jacksonville as canceled. A band spokeswoman told the Times that there would be an official statement next week.Adrenaline Mob, which formed in 2011, is considered to be a heavy metal supergroup with its members coming from noted bands such as Symphony X and Dream Theater. The band has been plagued by tragedy, however. While on the road in 2014, its van and gear were destroyed in a crash in New Hampshire, and in 2015, drummer A.J. Pero died of a heart attack while on tour.
Zablidowsky’s death inspired social media tributes from past bandmates and notable heavy metal musicians including Dee Snider, Mike Portnoy, Zakk Wylde, Bret Michaels and Dave Navarro.