The Ghost Inside’s Jim Riley Details Bus Crash + Aftermath on Six-Month Anniversary
The Ghost Inside recently passed the six-month mark since the horrific bus crash that would change their lives forever. To mark the occasion, bassist Jim Riley issued a lengthy post on Instagram discussing what the day meant to him and sharing his recollections of the bus crash that claimed the lives of both drivers in the accident and left drummer Andrew Tkaczyk without his right leg and guitarist Zach Johnson missing two of his toes.
Some of the musicians in the band have still been undergoing surgical procedures as the six-month anniversary approached and it's been a slow but steady road to recovery.
Riley recalled in his missive, "I went to bed last night knowing today was going to be emotional. On Nov. 19 I woke up to a living nightmare. I knew something bad had happened but no clue the extent. I checked to make sure I wasn't impaled by anything and got myself out that back window. I was the first person out of the bus and the first to see the scene. The next two hours were a blur. Everything was confusion. Fearing for the lives of my best friends and learning of the two drivers' lives lost. One by one the other guys emerged from the wreckage, a couple on their own but most on backboards. I remember feeling lost and helpless."
Riley continued, "I'm the tour dad; the guy that fixes what breaks and looks after our little family. I was stuck on the sideline while my guys fought for their survival. Even now, I want to heal them. I would trade my body for theirs in a heartbeat. But they are teaching me the true meaning of strength every day. In the face of countless doctors, complications, and a totally unexpected new life, they remain unbroken. To speak to them you wouldn't know what they are growing through. Still joking and smiling, still finding the single rays of sunshine in what could be an overwhelming storm."
"Some days suck. We have each other. Some days are great. We have each other. But above it all, we have the days and the chance to get through them and see another," says Riley. "This life is an incredible gift and I am fortunate to share it with such warriors. To the rest of The Ten, you inspire me immeasurably. Hey death, get f--ked." Check out the photo of the wrecked bus and Riley's full posting below.
Shortly after the crash, a GoFundMe account was launched to help the band pay for their hospital expenses and other associated costs from the crash. A $150,000 goal was set and has already been surpassed. If you wish to donate you may do so here. Meanwhile, Epitaph Records immediately began giving all proceeds from the band's record sales directly to the group in order to help financially with their recovery.
Unite the United also recently announced an auction with bands like Blink-182, A Day to Remember, Whitechapel and Rancid's Tim Armstrong donating items to raise funds for the band as well. Head over to Unite the United's eBay auction to place a bid on any item.