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Frank Iero Reflects On Sydney Traffic Accident: “It’s Incredible To Me That We’re All Still Alive”

Rob Sayce
Rob Sayce 6 January 2017 at 10.28

This is powerful.

Frank Iero has reflected on last year's traffic accident involving him, his band The Patience and their crew.

"I can remember every second, every action, every sound," he told MTV News. 

"I had this little briefcase pedal board that I had been carrying around with me. I put that down and I turned around to say to Evan and Paul, ‘I think I’m just going to take the tuner out of here.’ I said, ‘I think’ — that’s all I got out of my mouth."

Comparing the impact to being "tackled from behind", Frank continued: "I ended up underneath the bumper of this massive vehicle. From my vantage point, I could only see Evan, and I could hear Paul. I thought whoever I couldn’t see or hear had to be dead, and if they weren’t dead yet, then we all would be soon."

He added that an "enormous rucksack" he was wearing at the time may well have saved his life. 

"There’s no doubt in my mind that it saved me. The way I got hit, it hooked on underneath the bumper and lodged me between the curb and the bus. Paul [Clegg, Frank's manager] collapsed into the trunk. Evan [Nestor, guitarist] fell down onto the ground and said, ‘I can’t feel my legs!’ I got out of that rucksack, got my coat, and put it under his head and held him. That’s when I saw the puddle of blood coming from Paul’s injuries. It was the brightest red I’d ever seen. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from."

A nearby bicycle cop witnessed the accident and attended to Paul's injuries, before everyone affected was admitted to hospital.

Frank went on to say that "I keep going back to the open trunk door, how it accordioned back after the hit and gave their backs and heads room. It broke that impact. I don’t even know what would’ve happened. It’s incredible to me that we’re all still alive. No one that witnessed the accident thought that we would be."

"I have a hard time allowing myself to believe there is a higher power doing things behind the scenes, but I tend to think things do happen — even the shitty things — for some reason."

"After an experience like that, you split off into three ways of thinking. The first is, This is our birthday. We have this second lease on life that we should not have. What is the purpose of that? Why have you been saved? What can you do with that time you weren’t supposed to have?"

"[The second] is less positive. When you’ve met death and you can see firsthand how fragile we all are and how truly horrific death can be, you know that this is something you’re going to have to experience again. That’s a terrifying thought, to have to live through it again. Part of you wishes that it was over."

"The third is much weirder. You wonder if you didn’t survive and if all this is an imagination. Maybe this is what happens when you die — your brain keeps going and you manufacture an existence. I thought that I was crazy for a while until I spoke with Paul and Evan and we had similar feelings on it. [But] you have to snap yourself out of it. If this is existence, it’s yours now, and you have to make do."

He concluded: "I wish I could say that it was a tragic experience that’s now a positive thing because I’m still here. It’s funny to have written a record like 'Parachutes' [and] to have something like this happen. You can’t write that shit."

"In time I will feel more grounded. For now, I’m existing. That’s something, in that moment, that I didn’t know I would be doing."

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