JACKSON COUNTY, Ga. - Georgia state troopers say three people killed in a passenger van crash in Jackson County were members of a rock band.
The crash happened around 7 a.m. on Interstate 85 south near Highway 98 (exit 147).
According to Georgia State Patrol, the driver of the passenger van may have fallen asleep, drove down an embankment and struck a tree.
Troopers said Nicholas Crisostomo, 25, of Round Hill, Virginia, Ian McKinney, 30, of Madison, Tennessee, and Paul J. Truesdell, 29, of Mableton, Georgia, died in the wreck.
Three others were in critical condition. A total of eight people were taken to Athens Regional Hospital and Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
“The driver lost control, either by going to sleep or some other means, we're still investigating that. He left the roadway, travelled about 300 feet off the roadway and struck a tree with the passenger side of the van,” said Georgia State Patrol Cpl. Scott Smith.
Troopers identified the driver as Sergio J. Quesada, 27, of Athens.
The passenger side was sheared off the van, trooper say. They are not sure if the passengers were wearing seat belts. The driver was not injured.
Trooper say the 12 people were members of two rock bands.
One of the bands was called Wormreich, from Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Another band, Kult ov Azazel, released a statement on their Facebook page regarding the crash.
"Unfortunately tonight's show in Atlanta, GA will be canceled. The van carrying Wormreich and Khaotika was in a horrible accident this morning. We cannot go into details due to respect to the families of the involved and we are sure details will soon be available through the other parties when the time is right. Our thoughts are with those involved and their families."
The victims lived all over the Southeast. Investigators say the bands were coming from South Carolina for a show in metro Atlanta.
Charges are pending in the case.