Flying Lessons on the I-5

"The last thing I remember was flying out the window," says 21-year-old drummer Sid Hilarides. "I flew about 30 feet." Hilarides and two of his Irieside bandmates were traveling north on I-5 from a Solana Beach gig to another at the Flying Bridge in Oceanside on June 4. The rock/reggae band was in a Chevy Suburban.

"You know how you think someone's going to give you the space to merge?" says Hilarides. "This car in front of us turned the other way. We tried to overcorrect and lost control of the car. The car started spinning, then it tumbled."

"The car flipped eight times," says bassist Alex Earl, who was in the front passenger seat. He and driver Ben Blessing had seat belts on and were unharmed. Hilarides wasn't wearing a belt, and he was ejected from an open window.

"I went up to him and said his name twice, and he didn't say anything at first," says Earl. "He was there moaning, curled up."

"I didn't remember anything," says Hilarides. "As soon as I remembered I was at the Fiesta [del Sol in Solana Beach], then I started worrying about the other guys.... I broke a lower vertebrae in my back." After three days in the hospital, Hilarides was released. "They said in six to eight weeks I can take off the brace. I'm so lucky. I can't even believe I'm alive. The [Suburban] got totaled, but somehow my drums are still okay."

The band canceled three shows, but their Del Mar Fair show on June 18 at 2 p.m. will go on with a replacement drummer.

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