Colin Michael Mulhern, 30, was killed and six others injured—one critical—in a crash early Monday morning.
Mulhern, who was the frontman of Denver-based pop-punk act If I Fail, was accompanying metal band Short Fuse 59 on a 12-day tour. The group were heading back to Denver via Interstate 5 in California when their van and trailer was struck from behind by a Ford Escape around 2:40 a.m., according to California Highway Patrol officers.
The impact caused the van to roll onto its roof, and Mulhern was ejected and killed. Short Fuse 59 drummer Patrick Carney, 28, was also ejected from the vehicle and remains in critical condition at a California hospital.
Carney has a wife, Ashley, and two children, the former of which has been by his side since the accident. He was placed in a medically induced coma as of Tuesday, according to The Denver Post.
“It’s basically a medically induced coma because of the brain damage,” Ashley says. “He has a lot of swelling in his brain. He made some progress this morning. He was able to give us a thumbs up.”
Carney has more than 30 staples from his head to his shoulder, 20 stitches and sutures in his head, shoulder and arm, but the doctors said he didn’t have a skull fracture or any broken bones, according to Ashley.
If I Fail were not a part of the 12-day tour, but Mulhern wanted to tag along with Short Fuse 59 to support them, Carney’s sister Megan Freese revealed to The Post.
If I Fail drummer Ian Crone told Denver7 that Mulhern was the “best friend a kid could have” and was the heart and soul of their band. “All we ever wanted to do was get out on the road and chase our dreams, and Colin was the driving force of that,” he says.
The woman driving the Ford was not injured. Officers discovered drugs and alcohol in the car, and she was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, Fox 40 reports.
The other five passengers were released from hospitals as of Tuesday morning, except for one man who had three spinal fractures, according to The Post.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for Carney’s medical bills as the hospital does not accept their insurance. If I Fail are also asking for fans to share memories of Mulhern on their Facebook page.
Our thoughts are with both bands and their families.