Cliffdiver Lucky to Survive Freak Accident, Cancel Festival Show + Launch GoFundMe
Tyler Rogers, bassist for emo/pop-punk group Cliffdiver, was lucky enough to avoid death in a gruesome road accident in which a chain link that had snapped off a truck wound up lodged in his neck, resulting in significant blood loss as emergency responders and hospital staff tended to his medical needs. Rogers has since been moved out of an ICU unit and is recovering, prompting the launch of a GoFundMe to help cover expenses.
Content warning: descriptions of the injuries Rogers sustained are graphic.
On Twitter, Cliffdiver shared a detailed recollection of the harrowing "freak accident" which left the band panicked that they were going to lose their bandmate and close friend.
Setting out to perform at a charity show associated with Punk Rock Bowling festival in Las Vegas on Friday (May 26), the group departed their home town of Tulsa, Oklahoma in their brand new tour van.
"We were probably the most excited we've ever been to be spending the week together and getting back on the road," writes guitarist/vocalist Matt Ehler, "We had made it almost an hour outside of Tulsa when everything changed in an instant. We were near Stroud, Oklahoma traveling westbound on Interstate 44 when at approximately 11:00 AM, there was an enormous BOOM sound that sounded like a cannon being fired as the entire front of the van filled with glass shards and dust."
Ehler shares that the driver side window was shattered and that Rogers, who was driving the van at the time, was knocked unconscious while front seat passenger Eliot Cooper (drums) took hold of the wheel as Rogers' foot remained on the gas pedal. The guitarist notes he was seated behind Rogers and began to shake his bandmate's body as he yelled his name in hopes he would become conscious again.
"At this point, we noticed that blood was spewing out of his neck/head region and drenching his body and the surrounding area," he continues, recalling that they were able to get his foot off the gas pedal and stop the vehicle to issue first aid, applying pressure to his neck and throat while trying to locate the direct location of where the blood was coming from.
Rogers regained "the tiniest bit of consciousness" as emergency personnel arrived on scene.
Once the bassist's condition was stabilized, the sheriff told the band that a "large steel chain link" was found lodged in Rogers' neck and that it was likely that "a semi-truck was pulling a trailer that had a load-bearing chain strap that had snapped under pressure, launching the chain link across the interstate and through the van window and into Rogers' neck.
With the permission of Rogers and his family, Cliffdiver shared a photo of the bloodstained chain link which can be seen here (warning: graphic).
Regarding the extent of the injuries, Ehler notes, "The emergency center determined that Tyler's carotid artery had been punctured, his jugular was lacerated, he had fractures in his neck, had lost approximately 2 liters of blood and needed emergency surgery." Fortunately, it was determined that Rogers will not suffer from neurological/brain damage as a result of the incident.
Rogers has relocated from the ICU unit to a "normal room" within 24 hours and is currently recovering. The band is unsure how long his hospital stay and subsequent recovery will last and are thankful for the outpouring of support from the music community.
As a result, however, Cliffdiver's touring plans in support of last year's debut album Exercise Your Demons have been put on hold and are utilizing GoFundMe seeking to "raise enough to cover all incurred medical expenses, lost income, rehabilitation, repairs and damages and whatever else it takes to ensure that Tyler, his family and the band can fully recover and recuperate."
Donate here and read the full recollection of the accident in the multi-post tweet directly below.
Loudwire wishes Rogers well in his recovery.