In August of last year, Georgian metal masters Baroness experienced a horrific bus crash that left nine injured, their driver reportedly in critical condition, and singer-guitarist John Baizley with a macabrely stapled-together arm. The band’s leader went on to pen a pair of open letters which, first, described the incident in agonizingly gory detail and, later, pledged the group’s triumphant return. We never heard, however, any more news on the driver.
As it turns out, that may have been due to legal reasons. As BBC News reports, bus operator Norman Markus is facing a slew of criminal charges for his role in the accident. As Baizley explained in October, the driver was forced to slam the vehicle into a guard rail in order to slow it down after the brakes apparently failed. But “the guard rail and the 20 or 30 trees” they hit “snapped like matchsticks,” and the bus plummeted 30 feet from an English viaduct.
After a “very complicated investigation,” authorities are charging that the 39-year-old German national not only drove dangerously, but used a vehicle with defective brakes, breached the 7.5-metric-ton weight limit, took insufficient daily and weekly rest periods, didn’t actually have the correct license to drive that class of vehicle, and used said vehicle in a condition likely to cause danger of injury (via weight, brakes, etc.).
The band has yet to comment on this most recent development. Markus is due to appear before the Magistrates’ Court in Bath, near the site of the accident, on Friday, April 5.