Band cancels tour after crash outside La Grande

By Kelly Ducote, The Observer November 11, 2013 12:27 pm

 A crash in the early morning hours of Nov. 6 resulted in a tour cancelation for the band La Luz.
A crash in the early morning hours of Nov. 6 resulted in a tour cancelation for the band La Luz.

A van that was struck by a semi-truck early Wednesday morning outside La Grande was hauling a band to its next show.

La Luz, a Seattle-based all female surf band, was en route from Boise to Seattle on tour with a band called of Montreal when the van hit ice in the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 just west of La Grande. 

The accident, which occurred around 2 a.m. Wednesday, was not a severe accident.

Bass player Abbey Blackwell said after hitting black ice on the bridge over the Grande Ronde River, the van was not drivable because the metal bumper was touching a tire, which would have shredded had they tried to continue.

So, they pulled over, and called AAA and 911, “because we were scared,” Blackwell said.

About 20 minutes that fear, of another vehicle sliding on ice and hitting them, came to fruition.

A commercial truck driven by Josan Andrei and occupied by Pintea Alexander hit the ice.

“It started fishtailing,” Blackwell said, and before band members knew it, they heard the truck turn over and were pushed off the road.

Blackwell and Alice Sandahl, the keyboard player, were transported by ambulance to Grande Ronde Hospital, according to Oregon State Police.

“Everyone has small injuries,” Blackwell said of the four band members. But Sandahl had some more severe but non-life threatening injuries, including broken ribs. The occupants of the semi-truck were not injured.

La Luz canceled the remainder of its tour because of the injuries, and because much of their gear was destroyed in the crash.

“There were a couple things that were salvageable, but the vast majority was destroyed,” Blackwell said. “We’re sad we can’t keep going.”

Contact Kelly Ducote at 541-786-4230 or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Follow Kelly on Twitter@lgoDucote.