Hours after performing for thousands of South Carolina college students, former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and celebrity DJ AM were critically injured in a fiery Learjet crash that killed four people, authorities said Saturday.
Officials said the plane carrying six people was departing shortly before midnight Friday when air traffic controllers reporting seeing sparks. The plane hurtled off the end of a runway and crashed through antennas and a fence. It came to rest on an embankment across a five-lane highway and was engulfed in flames, said Debbie Hersman, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board.
Barker and DJ AM, whose real name is Adam Goldstein, were in critical condition at a burn center in Augusta, Ga., about 75 miles southwest of Columbia, hospital spokeswoman Beth Frits said.
Two other passengers — Chris Baker, 29, of Studio City, Calif., and Charles Still, 25, of Los Angeles — died, as did pilot Sarah Lemmon, 31, of Anaheim Hills, Calif., and co-pilot James Bland, 52, of Carlsbad, according to the county coroner. Baker was an assistant to Barker and Still was a security guard for the musician.
The plane was headed for Van Nuys, Calif. It is owned by Global Exec Aviation, a California-based charter company, and was certified to operate last year, Hersman said. The company said it had no immediate comment.
At the crash site Saturday, the air was still heavy with the odor of jet fuel. A trail of black soot led off a runway. The nose of the aircraft was gone and the roof was missing from two-thirds of the charred plane.
I pray that both these guys survive and recover. Travis is a colorful character but he loves his kids and I would hate to think that there will be more fatherless babies growing up in the world.