Following up yesterday’s story about Against Me! being involved in a bus accident in Wyoming, frontman Tom Gabel has blogged about the experience in detail, including a picture of the aftermath. Here’s what he had to say:
"Everyone was asleep when it happened. I didn’t want to wake up. Moments before I was sleeping so deeply. I was annoyed. I woke to the sound of my friends screaming, various expletives, inarticulate gasps, the sensation of spinning, and the sound of crashing inside and outside the bus. My eyes opened to blackness. I immediately pressed my hands and feet into the roof of my bunk as hard as I could, bracing for what I did not know.
When it ended, when we stopped moving, our driver Jeremy immediately started calling out names, one by one, checking to make sure everyone was okay. It wasn’t until I got out of my bunk that I realized how completely unleveled the bus was to the ground. We were almost on our side. The hallway was a mess of luggage and bags. The front lounge was an explosion of food items, appliances, and broken glass. I looked out the front window and saw that our trailer was laying on it’s side in front of us, the contents now littering the highway. Jeremy was outside trying to push it all off to the side of the interstate. Everyone got out to help. Although we were in a van accident years ago, this is the first time anything like this has happened to us in a bus. I always sleep with my pants on just in case something like this happens so that the last thing I have to worry about in the event of an emergency is where my pants are.
Apparently, around 6AM we were driving west on I-80 when we hit a patch of ice. Jeremy lost control of the bus and we spun out of control. Our trailer broke free from it’s hitch (it actually ripped the hitch clear off) and slammed into the front of the passenger side of the bus as we spun, not completely shattering a window, but cracking it and breaking it out of the frame inwards. The rear trailer door flew completely off and most of our equipment, and merchandise (t-shirts, cds, records, stickers, pins) were strewn out along the road. We landed, with the trailer on it’s side in front of us, in a ditch in the median of the interstate.
A light snow was falling from the sky and the cold was biting despite the adrenaline. The eastbound lanes of I-80, the lanes most of our stuff was laying in (not the direction we had been driving though mind you) was closed to traffic. The westbound lane was not, and, as we all scrambled in the breaking morning light to gather our gear on the side of the road, a semi-truck hit the same patch ice we had. It spun out of control, narrowly missed crashing into the bus, and slid into the same ditch a couple feet behind us. At this point a couple of emergency vehicles had shown up on the scene and it was recommended that we stay out of the bus. Jeremy ran back in for his smokes. I ran back in for my cell phone so that I could call Heather. Shortly after another semi-truck was driving by alongside a car. It clipped the edge of the semi-trailer that was stuck behind us and swerved into the right lane, pushing the car driving alongside it off into the snowy embankment. Then, further down the road, another truck started jack-knifing. It slid to a slow halt in the middle of the interstate blocking all traffic behind it. Both sides of the interstate where then closed.
The semi behind us was pulled out of the ditch by a tow truck first. After emptying the remaining contents of the trailer out onto the side of the road, the tow truck then flipped it right side up and dragged it out of the ditch. Then the bus was finally pulled out. Jordan caught a ride into Rawlins, Wyoming, which was the closest town, and rented a U-Haul Truck. We waited there on the side of the road, with the interstate still closed, for him to come back so we could load the U-Haul with our battered and broken gear. Andrew and I drove the U-Haul to Salt Lake City with the bus following behind us. We had to cancel the show tonight. I feel drained akin to jet lag. I am glad to be alive. First and foremost I am glad that we are unharmed, safe, alive."
According to Against Me!’s current tourmate, Ted Leo, the tour is continuing on as planned tonight in Boise; the remaining dates are below:
Oct 23 2008 8:00P
The Knitting Factory Boise, Idaho
Oct 24 2008 7:00P
Showbox Market Seattle, Washington
Oct 25 2008 7:00P
Roseland Theatre Portland, Oregon
Oct 26 2008 8:00P
The Boardwalk Sacramento, California
Oct 27 2008 7:00P
Grand Ballroom San Francisco, California
Oct 28 2008 8:00P
The Wiltern Los Angeles, California