Memorial Service For GOTTHARD Singer Held In Switzerland: Swiss TV Report Available

Today's (October 17) edition of the "Glanz & Gloria" Swiss TV entertainment show featured a segment on the the public memorial service for GOTTHARD singer Steve Lee, which was held this morning at the St. Gotthard Hospice on the Saint Gotthard Pass in Switzerland. The German-language report, which features footage of the band and Steve's girlfriend, Brigitte Voss-Balzarini, as they came to mourn and remember Lee with thousands of fans in wintery, subzero weather, can be viewed below.

The surviving members of GOTTHARD have released the following statement regarding their singer's death:

"On the afternoon of October 5th 2010 our group, consisting of 22 male and female bikers on 12 Harley-Davidsons, was on its way from Las Vegas to St. George, Utah, in bright weather.

"About 15 miles from Mesquite, a severe thunderstorm began. One of the bikes started to have some technical problems with its ignition, so we stopped on the breakdown lane and switched on our warning lights. The last guy in the group was reminding us to be very careful with the traffic passing by, so we paid attention. At the same time it started to rain more heavily, so the group decided to put on rain gear.

"A truck was speeding towards the group. For some inexplicable reason, the very heavy truck crashed into several of our bikes. The impact was so severe that one of the bikes was thrown into the air, hit Steve and crushed him to the ground. The group immediately secured the accident area and started to give him first aid.

"At the same time we dialed the emergency number 911 and after a few minutes the first police car arrived. The patrolman had brought a defibrillator and, with our help, he immediately started to apply it. In the meantime, in the pouring rain, we all started working together to try to save Steve's life. A couple of minutes later, a second police car arrived and brought a complete set of first aid equipment. A helicopter also arrived. During all that time resuscitation attempts were maintained. After long minutes of trying, the doctor had to confirm that Steve was dead.

"Miraculously, no other person in the group was injured. We are all aware that it could have been any one of us — and it could have even been the whole group.

"Together with the local police, our tour guides organized the transport for us all to a nearby hotel in Mesquite. The hotel offered us a quiet room in which we could mourn, talk to each other and cry together.

"We all agree that the tour guides prepared and handled our trip very professionally. Our group still trusts the guides 100%.

"Steve's loss is an incredible tragedy for all of us. Together we are trying to get over all the grieving and the pain and to be there for each other. It is a very hard time for all of us.

"Steve Lee's lifelong dream to drive just once through the USA, on a Harley, should have come true during these two weeks. After we started our trip in Los Angeles, we passed Death Valley and Las Vegas. Our next stop would have been St. George in Utah, from where we had planned to head for Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon and Monument Valley. This was to have been the place where Steve planned to surprise [his longtime girlfriend] Brigitte [Voss-Balzarini] with some very special Indian jewellery. To show her Las Vegas and to enjoy together the special atmosphere there was one of his greatest wishes for the trip."

Lee, who had a British father and Swiss mother, was 47 years old.

Formed in 1990, GOTTHARD's last 11 albums all charted at No. 1 in Switzerland. The band's latest CD, "Need To Believe", was certified platinum in the group's home country for sales in excess of 30,000 copies.

GOTTHARD was presented with the platinum-award plaques on January 9, 2010 at the "Swiss Awards 2009", which also included the TV premiere of the band's radio single, "Don't Let Me Down".

"Need To Believe" was released on September 4, 2009 via Nuclear Blast Records.

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