Tower of Power band members recover after being hit by train in Oakland – NBC Bay Area


Two members of the iconic Bay Area R&B group Tower of Power are recovering on Friday after being struck by an Amtrak train Thursday night near Jack London Square in Oakland, according to a spokesperson for the group.

The group Thursday night identified the injured men as drummer David Garibaldi and current bassist Marc van Wageningen. The two musicians reacted before being transported to Highland Hospital in Oakland.

Tower of Power frontman Emilio Castillo wrote on the group’s Facebook page Friday morning that Garibaldi was suffering from swelling of his face and head, “but he was clear-headed and expected him to recover. “. Van Wageningen underwent surgery and doctors were able to control his internal bleeding, Castillo wrote. Medics, who are waiting for van Wageningen to stabilize before proceeding with further testing, are “cautiously optimistic” about the bassist’s status.

Two members of the iconic Bay Area Tower of Power group were struck by an Amtrak train near Jack London Square in Oakland and taken to hospital Thursday night, according to a spokesperson for the group. Kim Yonenaka reports.

The incident was reported shortly before 8 p.m. in the Clay Street and Embarcadero neighborhood, according to firefighters.

Witnesses said the scene was confusing as a train passed and the crossing signals increased and the lights stopped flashing. They added that the two men perhaps thought the crossing was safe.

“We were maybe two feet from a passing train,” Hae-Sin Thomas said. “We could feel the rush, which is why we kind of leaned back and walked away from the train. The other two gentlemen weren’t so lucky.”

The enduring group was founded in Oakland in 1968 and became known for their big brassy sound that blends funk and rock. Their highest-ranked song is “So Very Hard to Go” from 1973, but the band continued to record and perform with a rotating line-up, and will turn 50 next year.

Garibaldi joined Tower of Power as an original member in 1970, according to the group’s website. Van Wageningen, originally from the Netherlands and a permanent member of Pete Escovedo’s orchestra, is a stand-in musician for Tower of Power, according to Pete Escovedo manager Victor Pamiroyan.

Pamiroyan knows both men well, and he has expressed nothing but praise for both musicians.

“Great people,” he said. “Two great guys who love music.”

Amtrak train 547, on the Capitol Corridor line that connects Sacramento to San Jose, had 26 passengers on board, with no reported injuries to passengers or crew, Amtrak officials said. They added that the two pedestrians struck by the train were encroaching on the tracks. Amtrack did not indicate whether or not there was a malfunction with the barrier or the crossing lights.

NBC Bay Area has learned that rail companies are required by law to activate lights and crossing gates 20 seconds before a train crosses an intersection. NBC Bay Area timed the warning system in Jack London Square and found a full 30-second pass before the trains passed.

Tower of Power has canceled a concert they were scheduled to play at Yoshi’s Thursday night. A GoFundMe page has been created for van Wageningen.


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