Baroness Bus Driver May Never Face Charges Over 2012 Crash
Baroness endured one of the scariest moments of 2012 when their tour bus broke through a guardrail while traveling in England and plunged 30 feet into a wooded area below. The bus driver in the incident, Norman Markus, was charged earlier this year with using a vehicle that had defective brakes, breaching the bus' 7.5 ton weight limit and not adhering to sufficient daily and weekly rest periods. He was also charged with not having the correct license entitlement and using a vehicle in a condition likely to cause injury. However, with that laundry list of charges, it's possible that Markus will never have to answer to the courts.
The BBC reports Markus' barrister, Jonathan Turner, has stated that the summons served on his client to attend court was not valid because it was served in Germany. Turner explained, "If he ever re-enters the country, a summons can be served upon him. Our position is the summons is a nullity and he has no reason to attend. You can't issue a warrant for his arrest unless he re-enters the U.K. and a summons is served on him. The problem is he's not going to come to this court. How are you going to get him here? I say I'm afraid you can't." Markus was allowed to return to his native Germany to recover from the injuries sustained in the bus crash.
The prosecutor, Lesley Ness, asked for inquiries to be made as to whether the summons was served or not and asked to adjourn the case in order to get Markus to court. The CPS are currently working with police to determine how to proceed.
Baroness guitarist Pete Adams had minor injuries in the accident and was allowed to leave rather quickly, but the band's three other members suffered significant injuries. Frontman John Baizley received a broken arm and leg, while bassist Matt Maggioni and drummer Allen Blickle both had fractured vertebrae. In March of this year, Baroness announced that Maggioni and Blickle had left the band.
Despite losing two members, Baroness are continuing on tour this spring and summer. The band, with new bassist Nick Jost and drummer Sebastian Thomson, will hit the road later this month. To see their full itinerary, click here.