Fundraiser Held for Band After Horrific Crash

Six band members of A City Serene were hurt in wreck on the Grapevine


A benefit concert on Saturday will help raise money to cover medical bills for a local band badly injured in a tour bus crash.

One of the performers will be Kris Renfro, guitarist for A City Serene.

Renfro was driving the band's tour bus Sept. 13 on the way to a gig in San Jose when it was involved in an accident on I-5 near the Grapevine that injured every member of the band and left two members in comas for weeks.

According to a CHP spokesman, a Ford pickup headed south became airborne and flew over the center divider.  The truck clipped a Honda Civic, then went broadside into the band's bus.  Another Honda behind the bus then struck the undercarriage after the bus tipped over.

"I see this plume of dust, this truck flying through the air at me, and it lands right in my door,"Renfro said.  "I blacked out."

Renfro suffered several broken bones in his legs and cuts all over his body.  "I almost didn't make it because of the amount of blood I lost."

The band had just started out on their first tour. Their manager, Billy Candler,recently wrote in his blog, "The band played their first show 10 months ago, and since then has released an INCREDIBLE EP, has played on some of the biggest tours with the biggest bands, has gained a very loyal following, and finally hit the road on their own."

A City Serene guitarist Mike Sherman and singer Xander Bourgeois spoke with NBCSanDiego recently after they returned to San Diego.

"Someone yelled 'Oh my God!' and we looked and we saw this truck flying right at us," said Bourgeois.

The impact ejected several people from the bus. ""I was laying on the ground, outside -- like in the dirt or something," Bourgeois said.  "I fractured my face, and broke a couple of bones in my nose, next to my eye."

Band member Mike Sherman also suffered serious facial injuries including a broken cheek bone and shattered teeth.

"It's something that you don't think is going to happen to you," Sherman said.  "That you're going to be sitting on the edge of death."

Officials said seven people in all were hurt in the crash. The six musicians were taken by air ambulances to hospitals in Mission Hills, Bakersfield and Valencia.

The other band members listed on A City Serene's Web site include singer Carly Baker, bassist/vocalist Marc Koch and drummer Mike Buxbaum.  Both of them were in comas, but band members say they are now awake and improving each day.

Sherman and Bourgeois say they were close before but after living through this, the band is like a family now.

"When I saw the news footage of it and the bus, I was shocked that we all made it out," said Sherman.

The benefit concert is being held at SOMA on Saturday night.  It's located at 3350 Sports Arena Boulevard in the Midway area.

Tickets are $10 at lunaticks or SOMA proceeds will go to the families to help with medical costs.

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