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Funeral Pyre and Early Graves’ tour van crash … and the Fresno connection

Fans of underground metal, might have already heard about an early Monday accident in Oregon involving the touring van of bands Early Graves and Funeral Pyre. The accident killed Early Graves’ lead singer and injured two others.

Unfortunately, there’s a Fresno connection to the crash — driver Justin Garcia who is a local guy who plays in Funeral Pyre and was hurt in the crash. Here’s the SF Chron account:

The lead singer for a Bay Area metal band was killed early Monday in Oregon when a van carrying him and eight other touring musicians crashed and rolled, authorities said.

Matikeef “Makh” Daniels, 28, of Pacifica was ejected from the 2003 Chevrolet van, which had been heading south on Interstate 5 north of Medford at 5:30 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Oregon State Police, the driver — 24-year-old Justin Garcia of Fresno — fell asleep and allowed the van to drift off the right shoulder of the freeway.

Police Lt. Gregg Hastings said the van carried five members of Daniels’ band, Early Graves, as well as four members of Garcia’s band, Funeral Pyre, which is based in La Habra Orange County. The men had played at a weekend concert in Eugene and were en route to Reno.

Garcia and 21-year-old Tyler Jensen of Livermore, a member of Early Graves, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Daniels and Jensen had been lying in a rear cargo area and were not wearing seat belts, police said.

The other men in the van were identified as Early Graves members Matthew O’Brien, Daniel Sneddon and Christopher Brock, and Funeral Pyre members Adam Campbell, John Strachan and Alex Hernandez.

Prosecutors in Oregon’s Jackson County will decide whether to bring any charges in the case.

Garcia still lives in Fresno, and was a busy local musician before catching on with Funeral Pyre, which is based in SoCal. A friend of Garcia’s tells me that he’s still in an Oregon hospital and should be OK eventually.

Funeral Pyre and Early Graves were in Fresno not too long ago, playing at Chinatown Youth Center on June 4.

Responses to "Funeral Pyre and Early Graves’ tour van crash … and the Fresno connection"

S. Ryan says:

… and by north of Medford, they mean Central Point.

A little more here: