Yesterday word came out that Seattle surf rockers La Luz were involved in a serious accident that left their van totalled, their gear and merch ruined, and everyone bruised. Luckily, nobody was seriously hurt. They've cancelled the rest of the shows on their current tour in the meantime.
People have been coming out of the woodwork to lend their support: at the sold out Neumos show last night the ladies had to cancel their appearance at, a donation jar was set up at the merch stand to help the band out and people lined up to give what they could. In addition, local rapper RA Scion is turning his upcoming album release party into a benefit for La Luz, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the band. A Paypal fund has been set up as well to help the band get back on their feet.
Today, guitarist and lead singer Shana Cleveland posted to the band’s tumblr with an in-depth explanation of the events leading up to the crash. Turns out, the band hit a concrete blocker before getting hit a second time by a semi truck while waiting for AAA. According to the post, when the band saw the truck coming, drummer Marian Li Pino blurted out "Oh no, it's coming." Scary stuff.
UPDATE: Cleveland sat down to chat with Seattle Weekly about the accident and what’s next for La Luz in the interview below.
Above: Shana Cleveland
Seattle Weekly: How are you doing?
Shana Cleveland: I’m okay, in a bunch of pain. My arms are numb. But I’m fine. Happy to be alive.
SW: Where are you at right now?
SC: I’m at my mom’s house in Shoreline. We got back to Seattle last night. I’m going to the hospital today to get checked out and get treated for some small things. I think all of us are going to the hospital today actually.
The only person who had to go to the ER was Alice. She was bleeding from her head and broke her ribs and her nose. She’s out now, she got the x-rays and a bunch of medicine and then we got out. We didn’t really want to stick around in the small town where the accident happened, so we just got out as soon as we could.
SW: I just read the tumblr post and didn’t realize you guys had got hit twice. Was the semi-truck just not paying attention?
SC: No, I’m not really sure what happened. I’m not exactly sure how many times we got hit. It feels like we may have gotten hit more than twice. The first time we slid on black ice on a bridge. It was creepy because it wasn’t snowing or raining or anything. It was pretty much invisible.
Marian was driving and the car just slipped and started sliding and fishtailing and we hit this concrete divider between the freeway. We crashed up the front of the car. It didn’t end up being super bad from that, but it was enough that we couldn’t drive it. We pulled the car to the side of the road and called the police and AAA. Just anyone to come find us as soon as possible since we knew someone else might slip on the same ice and come barrelling into us... which is exactly what happened 20 minutes later.
This semi-truck coming down the hill behind us slipped on the same ice and ended up turning over. It rammed into us. I’m not sure if it flipped before or after it hit us, but it hit with a pretty severe amount of force. It pretty much destroyed the van completely up until midway through the seat I was sitting in in back. If it had gone any further... yeah. There are just a lot of factors we had going for us. We lucked out.
SW: So because the van had a big trunk it basically cushioned the crash up until where you were sitting?
SC: We had just got this van from the UW surplus auction. It was a 12 person van. The back 50 percent of the van was cargo space, so that’s what got completely obliterated. The impact of the semi made it up to the back bench where I was sitting. We can’t even really figure out where our injuries came from because it was so fast. We were hit and then we went into this ditch... it’s all kind of a blur.
It’s super weird, the coat I was wearing was totally shredded in the back, and anything that was near me was compeletely destroyed. Somehow we made it out. We’re gonna heal.
SW: Was it hard to get out of the car?
SC: The only door we could get out was the front door, so we climbed over the seats. We weren’t pinned because the truck pushed us for kind of a long ways into this ditch. The contents from the semi were all over the road. Then another van hit the same ice and hit that semi. It was insane, totally crazy.
The guy in the semi was weirdly fine, I’m sure he’s feeling something today. Abbey ran over to him, I can’t even believe she did that. She was immediately like, “How’s the guy in the truck?!” He was okay, he was just afraid he had killed us.
SW: What have you guys been doing the past couple of days? Have you just been recovering or have you gotten together to figure out what’s next?
SC: We haven’t really been able to figure anything out yet, we’re going to meet up tonight. It’s just hard to imagine what to do... we go between feeling really shitty and totally amazing.
It’s just mindblowing how many people have reached out to us and given us their love and support. You know, people saying we can borrow their gear. It’s been crazy. We’ve been crying out of pain and then crying out of joy. There’s a lot of stuff to figure out right now, but we’re just going to the doctor now to get checked out.
We have to get over our fear of travelling in vans now. The drive home last night was terrifying, we all just feel kind of crazy right now being in a car. We just want to get better as soon as possible and see people. Hearing from so many people makes me want to get back out and play for everyone again.