A plane crash late Friday night in Columbia, S.C. killed four people and critically injured two more. The two injured were identified as Travis Barker, the former drummer of Blink-182, and Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein. Both are in critical condition at the Joseph Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga., about 70 miles from Columbia.
Barker and Goldstein were in Columbia headlining a block party concert sponsored by the Five Points Community Association and cellular phone company T-Mobile.
The four victims who died have been identified by the Lexington County Coroner as the pilot Sarah Lemmon, 31, of Anaheim Hills, Calif. and co-pilot James Bland, 52, of Carlsbad, Calif. A third victim has been identified as Chris Baker, 29, of Studio City, Calif., Barker’s assistant. The fourth victim has been identified as Charles Still, 25, who was from California.
The Learjet was operated by Global Executive Aviation. The first FAA investigator arrived on-scene from the Atlanta office and was later joined by investigators from D.C. The Metropolitan airport in Columbia remains closed until they can document on-scene evidence from the runway and airport property that will determine what happened to the flight.
Investigators are currently investigating but know that the plane was manufactured in 2006, certified to operate in 2007, and they are looking at all information associated with the aircraft, maintenance it may have received, where it was operated, problems reported, etc. Investigators are in the preliminary stages of investigation. They do know it was an on-demand flight and was scheduled at the demand of the customer.
There was damage at or near the airport included debris at the departure end of runway 11, an atteanae array hit, broken lights, and a perimeter fence down. Investigators are looking at any evidence that will help them determine what was going on at the time of the accident.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the plane carrying six people was departing shortly before midnight Friday when air traffic controllers reported seeing sparks. The plane went off a runway and crashed on a nearby road, she said.
From the Associated Press:
Hospital spokeswoman Beth Frits said 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.
Two other passengers and two crew members died, said the National Transportation Safety Board. Their identities were not immediately available.
Barker and Goldstein, who perform together under the name TRVSDJ-AM, played a free concert in Columbia’s college neighborhood Friday night.
“It’s absolutely terrible and tragic,” Columbia Mayor Bob Coble said.
A representative for Barker and DJ AM said she had no information the crash.
After Blink 182, Barker went on to form the rock band (+44) — pronounced “plus forty-four.” He starred in the MTV reality series “Meet the Barkers” with former Miss USA Shanna Moakler, to whom he was married at the time. The show documented the former couple’s lavish wedding and life.
Goldstein at one time was engaged to celebrity Nicole Richie.”
Eyewitness William Owens told local TV channel WIS-TV he was driving down Highway 302 when he said he saw a fireball go across the road.
‘I didn’t know what I had seen – it was maybe 800 feet in front of me, but as I approached it closer though, I made out a fire. By then I was able to see the tail of the jet and I recognised it as a jet.
‘It’s in flames and the fuel is running across the road and I had to cross the fuel to get to the two guys that seemed to have been dumped on the highway.
‘We turned to the jet to try and see if there was anything we could do, but immediately, there was nothing anyone could do.’