Thirsty Merc’s stage manager Shane Cooper has died in a car crash in Streatham in western Victoria while drummer Mick Skelton has been taken to hospital with serious injuries.
In a message at their Facebook page Thirsty Merc broke the news. “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 in this time”.
Singer Rai Thistlewayte, bass player Phil Stack and guitarist Matt Smith were in a separate vehicle when the accident occurred at around 2:30pm on Tuesday afternoon (22 September 2015).
Thirsty Merc had just kicked off a 41-date tour last week and had the day off on Monday. Cooper and Skelton were on their way to the next gig for the band in Warnambool when the accident occurred.
It is understood that their vehicle collided with a ute on the highway at Streatham. The ute driver was taken to Ballarat hospital and Skelton to The Royal Alfred in Melbourne.
Mike Skelton is also the drummer for Baby Animals and played in Sarah McLeod’s solo band.
All Thirsty Merc shows have been placed on hold until further notice.
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