A van carrying 12 members of two heavy metal bands slammed into a tree in northern Georgia on Monday morning, killing three people and injuring eight others, police said. The van was traveling from South Carolina to Atlanta when it “left the roadway” in Jackson County at about 7 a.m., said Franka Young, a public information officer for the Georgia Department of Public Safety. Georgia State Patrol Cpl. Scott Smith said passengers in the van the heavy metal bands Wormreich, based in Huntsville, Alabama, and Khaotika, based in Atlanta, Georgia.
The three men who were pronounced dead at the scene had been thrown from the van, said Georgia State Patrol Cpl. Scott Smith. The men were identified as 25-year-old Nicholas R. Crisostomo, who played drums for Khaotika, 30-year-old Ian A. McKinney and 29-year-old Paul. J. Truesdell, who both played guitar for Wormreich.
A total of eight people were taken to area hospitals, including two who were listed in critical condition, Smith said. The tree “took the whole passenger side of the vehicle off,” Smith said. The driver of the vehicle, Khaotika guitarist Sergio J. Quesada, 27, was uninjured, according to the Georgia State Patrol. Smith said an investigation was underway and charges were pending. Both bands were scheduled to play at a South Carolina venue called GroundZero on Sunday night. Another band on Sunday’s lineup, Kult ov Azazel, wrote on Facebook that Monday night’s Atlanta show would be cancelled. “Our thoughts are with those involved and their families,” the post said.