Feb 14, 2010 – Nov 1, 2011
On Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 7:30am, Brenda passed away. She will be remembered for her resilience, ability to comfort, and retro ceiling lights.
Last Tuesday, we were leaving our hotel in Valemount, B.C. Canada when Brenda hit some icy roads, spun out of control, and rolled over in to the embankment. Valemount had just seen it’s first snow of the season. Luckily we weren’t driving too fast, and the embankment had a bit of snow built up, cushioning the side and top of the van when it rolled over.
Looking back, as soon as we lost control of the car, everything seemed to move in slow motion. First, we fish tailed in to on coming traffic. (luckily there weren’t many cars on the road because it was early in the morning and we were in the middle of nowhere). Then we spun back in to our lane, and straight off the side of the freeway. Michael remembers Dan making weird hamster squealing noises right before we spun in to the embankment.
Once the van came to a stop, and we realized we were still alive, we all “slowly” unbuckled our seat belts. Oh, but we were upside down and we had forgotten about a little thing called gravity. I heard Michael unbuckle his seatbelt followed by a loud thump. He was dangling in the backseat and fell to the floor (well, the ceiling of the car actually).
Once we were able to crawl out of the car, a friendly Canadian named Owen, who witnessed the accident called 911. The police officer that came to help out told us that our rear tires were pretty bald and had very little traction left. It didn’t take long to realize that Brenda was totaled and we wouldn’t be bringing her back to Los Angeles.
Long story short, we’re all okay. Dan hit his forehead (has a pretty big bump to show for it), Michael got whiplash, I messed up my finger…and Brenda is gone.
It could have been a lot worse. There could have been so many other variables that could have made this a much more traumatizing accident. We just got lucky.
We’ve been traveling for a bit now, and friends’ bands have stories of van and trailer accidents. I guess if you do it long enough, your chances of getting in an accident are pretty high. Quake, Jack’s Mannequin’s sound engineer, told us stories of when he was in a few bus accidents. He had already known about our accident when we got to our show (yep, we made it to our show the same night of the accident, thanks to a Uhaul truck and a bit of adrenaline to get back on track). When I told Quake about the accident he was almost a bit proud of us. I felt like we had made it in to Quake’s club or something. The crash club. He said “all you gotta do now is catch up.” Quake has been in 3 bus wrecks.
Things like this make you appreciate your life and loved ones more. We’re just happy to be alive and to continue making music.
Love you guys.
Here is some footage from after the accident, but first a video from Brenda’s early days: