Great White Drummer Gets In Serious Car Crash On Way To Benefit Show

Derrick Pontier's car struck head-on as he heads to Allentown, Pennsylvania, club.

Great White's drummer, Derrick Pontier, was involved in a three-car collision in Whitehall, Pennsylvania, Saturday afternoon that left one woman in serious condition.

Pontier was driving near a club in Allentown, where the band was scheduled to play a Station fire benefit concert, when Sandra Tepes, 56, from Whitehall Township crossed the center line and hit Pontier's car head-on, according to the police report.

The force of the impact pushed the drummer's vehicle into a third car driven by 22-year-old Jonathan Roth of Whitehall Township.

Tepes, who was badly injured in the accident, was flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital, where she remains in intensive care, a hospital spokesperson said. The hospital would not reveal details of her injuries.

Pontier was trapped inside his car and had to be removed by paramedics but sustained only minor injuries. He was treated at Lehigh Valley Hospital and released. Roth also suffered minor injuries and left the scene of his own volition, police said.

Although Pontier was not able to perform Saturday night, Great White still went on, with the brother of the owner of the Allentown club playing drums for the band. Thirty-four people involved with the Station Family Fund, the nonprofit organization that provides money and assistance to families of victims of the February fire at the West Warwick, Rhode Island, club, had traveled to Pennsylvania for the show. Pontier plans to play with the band at its next gig, October 2 in Trinidad, Colorado.

After the fire, which killed 100 and began when Great White shot off pyrotechnics that ignited flammable soundproofing foam on the walls (see [article id="1470068"]"At Least 96 Dead At Rock Show Fire"[/article]), the band vowed to do everything it could to help the victims and their families. But Great White's charity efforts have been plagued from the start.

First, a tour with L.A. Guns and XYZ was called off because the bands were unable to secure insurance for the shows (see [article id="1473470"]"Great White Forced To Revamp Benefit Tour Due To Insurance Snafu"[/article]). Then Great White launched their own tour, which they called Help Us Help Our Own. But some people weren't in the mood to be terribly helpful: A show on Friday in South Weymouth, Massachusetts, was canceled after protest from relatives of Station fire victims. And a September 5 show in Virginia was canceled due to cash-flow problems but then rescheduled for the same night.

Nine more Great White benefit shows have been scheduled, ending in Riverside, California, on November 9.