Blackberry Smoke Members Save Family from Burning Car


Yet another reason to like one of America’s preeminent Southern Rock bands.

After recently finishing up a tour in California, frontman Charlie Starr and the rest of the Blackberry Smoke band decided to fly back to Atlanta ahead of the tour bus. But bassist Richard Turner decided to enjoy the long bus ride back across the country, and along with the lighting guy Chris “Thumper” Hathaway and bus driver Harry Wing, they happened up a burning car upside down on Interstate 10 in El Paso at roughly 2:00 a.m. Tuesday (4-19).

Driver Harry Wing immediately pulled the bus over to render aid, and Chris Turner and Richard Thumper also jumped in to help out.

“I thought we were stopping at a gas station or something,” Richard Turner tells The Boot. He was in the back of the bus watching television at the time. “Harry was off the bus first with a fire extinguisher, and Thumper was right behind him, and I was right behind him … I was on the driver’s side, pulling at the door, trying to get it open, and Thumper was on the passenger’s side ”¦ and he pulled three people out of that in the time it took me to figure out that I wasn’t gonna get the door open on the other side. And the whole time, the car was on fire, and Harry was wielding a small extinguisher on it.”

There was a man, a woman, and an 8 to 10-year-old girl in the orange Dodge Charger according to local reports. The accident eventually shut I-10 down completely so an investigation of the accident could be done. Bassist Richard Turner gives the credit to his road crew for the heroics. “If anything, Harry kept the car from burning everybody, and Thumper pulled three people out. If Harry hadn’t stopped, those people would be dead, I’m sure of it.”

Blackberry Smoke will be heading out on tour again in August with Gov’t Mule, as well as playing shows throughout May, June, and July. Check tour dates.