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Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, DJ AM critically injured in deadly Learjet crash in

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Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, DJ AM critically injured in deadly Learjet crash in South Carolina

By LARRY McSHANE

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Saturday, September 20th 2008

 

alg_barker_dj_am.jpg

Loccisano/FilmMagic

Former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, and DJ AM, who's real name is Adam

Goldstein, after a performance in Five Points, S.C. Friday. They are both in

critical condition after a deadly plane crash.

 

Former blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and musical cohort DJ AM were critically injured early Saturday in a fiery private plane crash that killed four people during takeoff.

 

The celebrity duo were the only survivors when the Learjet - trailing sparks at a South Carolina airport - skidded off the runway, tore through a fence and burst into flames before slamming into a highway embankment.

 

Witness William Owens watched as the fireball hurtled across Route 302 near the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Seconds earlier, air-traffic controllers saw sparks as the plane started its takeoff.

 

[float=right]amd_dj-am_barker_plane.jpg

Flashnick/AP

The scene of the plane crash, in which 4

people died. Barker and Goldstein were the

only survivors, and both are severely burned.

[/float]

"I didn't know what I had seen," Owens told CNN affiliate WIS-TV. "It was maybe 800 feet in front of me, but as I approached it closer, though, I made out a fire. By then I was able to

see the tail of the jet."

 

Owens saw two men - apparently Barker and DJ AM, whose real name is Adam Goldstein - running and tearing off their burning clothes after they were thrown from the jet onto the highway.

 

The pair told him there were four other people on board, and the three men ran toward the burning wreckage.

 

"We turned to the jet to try and see if there was anything we could do," Owens said. "But immediately, there was nothing anyone could do."

 

Barker, 32, and Goldstein, 35, were in critical but stable condition Saturday at the Augusta Burn Center in Georgia, said spokeswoman Olena Scarboro.

 

Goldstein suffered facial burns, and Barker was burned from the waist down, according to the Web site TMZ.com.

 

The two are as well-known for their romances as their music. Barker starred with his ex-wife, former Miss USA Shanna Moakler, on MTV's "Meet the Barkers" after his run with the multiplatinum trio blink-182.

 

Goldstein made headlines with his engagement to - and subsequent breakup with - Nicole Richie.

 

DJ AM and the drummer were performing together as TRV$DJ-AM. Their flight, headed to Van Nuys, Calif., was leaving hours after the pair played Friday for 10,000 people at a free concert in Columbia, S.C.

 

Two other performers from the show - ex-Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell and Gavin DeGraw - were not aboard the plane.

 

"It's absolutely terrible and tragic," said Columbia Mayor Bob Coble.

 

Goldstein and Barker performed at the MTV Video Music Awards just two weeks ago, working in the house band behind performers like Katy Perry, LL Cool J and Lupe Fiasco.

 

The dead were identified as four California residents, including pilot Sarah Lemmon, 31, of Anaheim, and co-pilot James Bland, 52, of Carlsbad.

 

Passengers Chris Baker, 29, of Studio City, and Charles Still, 25, of Los Angeles, also were killed.

 

Baker was Barker's personal assistant, according to TMZ.com.

 

Hours after the crash, the smell of jet fuel was still heavy in the air near the southern airport. A trail of black soot traced the plane's tragic path from the runway, across the five-lane highway and into an embankment.

 

The Learjet's nose was gone, and two-thirds of the roof was missing from the top of the charred debris.

 

It wasn't immediately clear what caused the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration was expected to investigate.

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According to documentation, the aircraft had a perfect upkeep record with no issues.

 

FAA, NTSB, and the aircraft's operators are still trying to figure out what went wrong.

 

- A

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According to documentation, the aircraft had a perfect upkeep record with no issues.

 

FAA, NTSB, and the aircraft's operators are still trying to figure out what went wrong.

 

- A

Yeah, they really wanna try to make sure everything was in check because the plane didn't budge to go up I heard.

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