Travis Barker 'Trying To Stay Upbeat' After Crash

Drummer's friend also says assistant Chris Baker, who died in the crash, 'was like extended family.'

Travis Barker is trying to stay optimistic after multiple surgeries related to the plane crash that caused second- and third-degree burns on his torso and lower half of his body, according to friend Bill Nosal.

"If you make it out of a crash of that magnitude, somebody's looking out for you," Nosal, who is also the spokesperson for Barker's clothing company, Famous Stars and Straps, told The Associated Press on Tuesday (September 23). "He's trying to stay upbeat."

Nosal said that Chris Baker, Barker's personal assistant who died in the Columbia, South Carolina, crash on Friday, "was like extended family." Barker also lost his bodyguard, Charles Still, in the crash, although Nosal pointed out that the drummer didn't always travel with security. The pilot and the co-pilot, Sarah Lemmon and James Bland, also died.

Barker's friend and collaborator DJ AM was also severely burned. Doctors from the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia, said Sunday that the musicians are expected to fully recover from their injuries. Barker's clothing company has established a memorial fund for the families of Baker and Still.

Lieutenant Josh Shumpert of the South Congaree, South Carolina, police department spoke to about what he saw when he arrived at the scene. "[Barker and AM] told me that they slid down the wing on the right side of the plane," he said. "They said they were on fire and that they tackled each other and put each other out.

"When I got there they were on the side of the road," he continued. "They were pacing and in shock. Travis was very shaken up."

Federal investigators are looking into the possibility that a blown tire could have contributed to the crash. They've found evidence that one of the jet's tires may have blown moments before takeoff at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Audio from the jet's cockpit voice recorder indicates that the pilot and co-pilot informed air-traffic controllers they'd heard a tire burst and tried to abort the takeoff.

If you'd like more information on the memorial funds set up to benefit Chris Baker's and Charles Still's families, visit the Famous Stars and Straps Web site.