Update: GREAT WHITE Drummer Hurt In Car Crash

Timothy C. Barmann of The Providence Journal reports that GREAT WHITE drummer Derrick Pontier was involved in a head-on collision Saturday near Allentown, Pa., a few hours before the band was to perform in a charity concert there to benefit victims of The Station nightclub fire.

Pontier, 36, of Huntington Beach, Calif., was driving in Whitehall, Pa., in a 2003 Dodge Stratus at about 12:35 p.m. when another driver traveling in the opposite direction crossed the center line.

The car driven by Sandra Tepes, 56, of Whitehall Township, struck Pontier's car head-on, according to Whitehall Township Police Chief Theodore Kohuth.

Pontier's car was pushed into a third car that was traveling behind Pontier.

Tepes apparently was the most seriously injured. She was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital, and was in the surgical intensive care unit yesterday afternoon.

The accident trapped Pontier inside his car, according to Ed McPherson, the band's attorney. Pontier was rescued with the use of a mechanical tool, he said.

Pontier was taken by ambulance to Lehigh Valley Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and released.

"He went through a number of tests and they thought he would be OK," McPherson said.

The driver of the third car, Jonathan Roth, 22, of Whitehall Township, sought medical treatment on his own, Kohuth said. He didn't appear to be seriously injured, according to Kohuth.

Kohuth said the accident was under investigation and he said it would be premature to speculate on what may have caused it.

"Preliminarily, it does not appear as though excessive speed is the cause," he said. The speed limit at the crash site is 40 mph. The weather at the time was clear, and the roads were dry, he said.

Pontier was not able to perform last night, and the brother of the Allentown club owner filled in on drums.

Some 34 people associated with the victims' fund had traveled to Allentown to see the show, McPherson said.

The band, he said, "really didn't want to cancel the show."


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