Thomas King, recently featured in Life is Awesome, was involved in a terrible tour bus accident on April 3, 2012.
“It happened so fast…”
On Tuesday, April 3, 2012, shortly after 6:00 am, Thomas King and 10 others were traveling on their tour bus, northbound on I-5, approximately one hour north of Bakersfield, CA, when their tour bus was rear-ended by a semi truck traveling about 75 mph, sending the bus rolling across the freeway and into the center median, flipping over twice. Thomas elaborates:
“I was sleeping in my bunk bed. Seven of my tour mates were also sleeping. One person was driving and another one was navigating. All of a sudden I woke up and heard somebody scream. I realized that the bus was moving awkwardly. And then I was falling out of my bunk bed as we were rolling over. Some of my tour mates said that they felt like time was slowing down as we were flipping. I had no chance to react. It happened so fast. I must have hit something, because I had bruises on my cheek, upper back, and right foot. Only when the bus came to a rest on its side, I realized: ‘Something bad has happened here. I’m still alive.’ I saw people climb out the dashboard window, which fortunately broke. On the way there I smelled diesel. Somebody said: ‘We’ve got to get out of here. The engine is still running’. At that point I panicked, because I did not want to burn to death in this bus. Thank God a few seconds later everybody made it out of the bus safely.”
The bands were just two shows away from completing the Epic Proportions Tour, performing in cities across the Southwestern U.S. The bus was en route to perform at Sonoma State University and Menlo College, of which both shows were consequently canceled.
Thomas explains the rescue:
“There was somebody – I think a witness of the accident who stopped – helping us when we climbed out of the dashboard window, and also assisted us turning off the engine. I did not wear anything except my underwear, because my t-shirt got ripped when I flew through the bus. My bass player Lawson Terrell had the nerve to grab his suitcase – pretty amazing under these circumstances – so when we got out of the bus he supplied us with shoes, shirts, and pants. He also found his phone in his suitcase and called 911. It took a pretty long time for the CHP and ambulance to arrive, because we were in the middle of nowhere. We had one of us bleeding heavily from the head and fingers, and a couple of others with severe pain. Although we all were in heavy shock, we made sure everybody is taken care of. Gabe Kubanda went over to the truck that hit us and started to secure the crash site with the truck’s emergency flares. Once help arrived, three people got transported to the hospital right away.”
The Epic Proportions Tour provides entertainment to high schools, colleges, and our nations military. The 2nd Annual Epic Proportions Tour was sponsored by VH1 Classic, Airwalk Shoes, SESAC, and Rock N’ Roll Fantasy Camp.
Thomas states: “The tour was the most amazing experience. I had the pleasure of performing with a fantastic band, and all the eleven people on the bus became family! To work in an environment where everybody follows the same vision and passion is a blessing. We got to play a lot of amazing shows, made a lot of new fans, and I enjoyed the interaction and the love that was being exchanged night after night.” Read Thomas King’s highlights from the tour in his blog.
“It’s been two weeks now since the accident,” Thomas adds. “I still have a lot of tension in my back, like most of us, resulting from the impact and from the trauma. We all are getting therapy and I hope that everybody will recover soon!”
We are happy all members of the tour are okay and recovering well!