Although police reports made Creed singer Scott Stapp’s recent car accident seem like a mere fender bender, the singer explained to MTV News on Thursday that the seriousness of his tour-delaying injuries weren’t fully apparent until much later.
“The woman behind me, I guess, wasn’t paying attention, and nailed me from behind going probably 50 or 60 miles per hour,” he said, beginning to describe the April 19 incident that occurred on Interstate 4 near Orlando, Florida. “I flew forward and my body hit the steering wheel and my head hit the windshield and I kind of came back and hit my seat.”
At first Stapp was unaware he was injured, he said, and was concerned about the wellbeing of the person who hit him, so he got out of his Cadillac SUV and walked to her vehicle. The 53-year-old woman and her two passengers were fine, and since her Ford SUV was no longer running, Stapp pushed the car to the side of the road and then returned to his vehicle, he said.
Because he had been heading to a video shoot for “One Last Breath,” he immediately called his manager. When he got off the phone, he realized that he wasn’t as unscathed as he originally thought.
“I was kind of trembling. Even my lips were trembling, and I was disoriented,” he said. “I had a concussion from the whiplash and from hitting the windshield.”
Stapp pointed out that the police on the scene didn’t note any injuries in their report because the singer refused to call an ambulance or go to the hospital.
“I did that against my manager’s wishes and against the doctor’s wishes,” he admitted. “I have a personal doctor, and I had him come and see me at my house because it immediately becomes big news if I’m in the hospital. I was trying to avoid the press.”
Since he had already committed to work on the video for “One Last Breath” with director Dave Meyers the next day, Stapp — who was beginning to feel the impact from the event — dragged himself to the shoot against his better judgement.
“I had medication to help me with the pain because my back and my spine and my neck and my head was killing me,” he said. “And I had a very bad headache. So I shot the video. A doctor and a masseuse were on site. They actually had to use a body double a couple times for some things I just could not do.”
Since Stapp’s pain didn’t get better, he set up appointments to have magnetic resonance imagery tests on his neck and back. The results were discouraging. Doctors discovered he had a bulging disc between two vertebrae in his neck and a smashed disc in his lower back. An adjacent missing disc from a congenital condition likely worsened the situation.
“I’m doing OK and I’m hanging in there,” he said wearily. “But I’m having to go from one doctor’s appointment to another to find where I go from here and to find out if I can resume touring soon. [I need to know] what effects are the demands I put on my body going to have on my neck and my spine condition.”
Doctors have determined that Stapp’s bulging and torn discs can heal with proper rest, physical therapy and exercise. But he’s currently suffering frequent headaches and is in no position to tour (see “Scott Stapp In Car Accident; Creed Tour Canceled” ).
“I’ll probably know more within the next two or three days,” he said. “Hopefully and prayerfully, within two or three months, maybe even sooner, we can resume the tour we were about to take. But under these circumstances we had to look at my long-term health.”
Stapp apologized to his fans for the canceled shows and said he looks forward to returning to the road. But right now he’s more concerned about how his condition will affect him.
“I’m scared to death,” he said. “They’ve already told me I have an arthritic condition in my lower back. I just want to be 35 years old and be able to play ball with my son and play basketball, golf and do all the things I love to do. It scares me first and foremost that I may not be able to be the father I want to be.”