One of Australia’s most popular bands, Thirsty Merc is in mourning following the tragic crash which killed the group’s stage manager and has left the drummer in critical condition
Shane Cooper died in the accident on Tuesday as the band was making its way to a gig in Warrnambool in Victoria. Mick Skelton, who was a passenger in the van driven by Cooper, was flown to the Alfred Hospital where he was admitted the intensive care, according to Fairfax Media.
The other band members of Thirsty Merc, singer/guitarist Rai Thistlethwayte, guitarist Matt Smith and bassist Phil Stack were reportedly travelling in a different vehicle at the time and were not involved in the accident.
The grieving band said in a statement via Facebook on Wednesday:
“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.”
Thirsty Merc are very well known in Australia and a regular fixture on the country’s gigs and festivals circuit.
British music fans may not know Thirst Merc by name, but if they have ever watched Bondi Rescue they will be familiar with one of the band’s biggest hits – ‘In The Summertime’ is the show’s opening theme song.