Australian band Thirsty Merc crew member killed in car crash, drummer Mick Skelton in hospital

Australian band Thirsty Merc crew member killed in car crash, drummer Mick Skelton in hospital

The Age
Marissa Calligeros 3 hrs ago

Supplied Thirsty Merc

Australian band Thirsty Merc is mourning the death of their stage manager who was killed in a car crash in western Victoria on Tuesday afternoon.

Drummer Mick Skelton was also injured in the crash near Streatham about 2.30pm.

Skelton was flown to The Alfred hospital, where he reportedly remains in intensive care.

Supplied Thirsty Merc have cancelled a gig after their stage manager was killed in a car accident.

The stage manager, believed to be Shane Cooper, was driving the band's van en route to a gig in Warrnambool when it collided with a ute. Skelton was the only passenger in the van.

Their grieving bandmates, lead singer Rai Thistlethwayte, bass player Phil Stack and guitarist Matt Smith posted a statement on Wednesday afternoon to the band's Facebook page saying they were shattered.

"With the heaviest of hearts, we share this utterly tragic news. While in transit to our show yesterday, our Stage Manager, Shane, and Touring Drummer, Mick, were involved in an horrific car accident which killed Shane and seriously injured Mick

"The band is absolutely shattered. We have returned to Melbourne to stay near Mick who is in ICU and are rescheduling the rest of this week's shows.

"No further decisions have been made and we will let everyone know about future shows as soon as we can. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with Shane and Mick's Families [sic] in this time."

The male driver of the ute was taken to Ballarat Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Thistlethwayte, Stack and Smith are believed to have been travelling in another vehicle at the time of the crash.

The band canceled their show at The Loft in Warrnambool on Tuesday night.

Their Wednesday night gig at Geelong's Barwon Club Hotel has also been cancelled.

Thirsty Merc are touring Australia for their new album, Shifting Gears, which was released this month following a crowd-funding campaign to pay for the recording.

The future of their national The Good Life Tour remains uncertain.

The band's Facebook page has been flooded with condolences for the crew member, as well as well wishes for Skelton.

"Found out this morning about the horrible news.. So many fans devastated at your loss. Wishing Mick a speedy recovery and the thoughts of many are with the entire Merc family. and respective family and friends. RIP," one fan wrote.

"Condolences to the band, and here is hoping that Drumming legend Mr Mick Skelton is back behind the skins in no time!," another said.

A third fan said: "Sending love & support to you all. Wishing Mick a speedy recovery . I'm so sorry for your loss. Stay strong . Condolences to all family and friends at this sad time."

Thirsty Merc's hit single, In the Summertime, has been the theme song for the Network Ten show Bondi Rescue.