Deftones Bassist Chi Cheng Dead At Age 42

Musician has been in a coma since a car accident in 2008.

Deftones bassist Chi Cheng, who had been in a coma since a 2008 car accident , died Saturday at age 42.

His death was confirmed by the band’s lead singer, Chino Moreno, on Facebook. Cheng’s family released a statement on the fan-run Facebook page One Love for Chi Cheng.

“I know that you will always remember him as a giant of a man on stage with a heart for every one of you,” the statement read. “He was taken to the emergency room and at 3 am today his heart just suddenly stopped. He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear.”

The statement continued, “He fought the good fight. You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone. I will write more later. I will be going through the oneloveforchi and any other information may not be reliable. If you have any stories or messages to share please send them to the onelove site. Please hold Mae and Ming and the siblings and especially Chi’s son, Gabriel in your prayers. It is so hard to let go.”

A cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Cheng was driving with his sister in Santa Clara, California, in November 2008 when they got into a car crash; he reportedly wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time. While he was severely injured in the accident, his sister only suffered minor injuries. They were returning from their brother’s memorial service at the time.

Cheng was a founding member of the Deftones. He, along with Moreno, Stephen Carpenter and Abe Cunningham, started the band in the late 1980s in Sacramento, California. He appeared on five of the band’s albums, up until 2006. Billboard reports that he also worked with the metal band on the album’s scrapped 2008 release Eros. After Cheng’s accident, the band decided not to release it.

One of the group’s biggest hits was “Change (In the House of Flies),” from the 2000 album White Pony.