PHOENIX (FOX 9) - A Minneapolis musician and sound engineer died Wednesday in a crash involving a wrong-way driver on an Arizona highway, along with the two members of a United Kingdom indie band with whom he was traveling.
Trevor Engelbrektson, 37, was working as the tour manager for the Liverpool-based duo Her’s, a band described as one of the U.K.’s “most loved up and coming bands.” Their record label, Heist or Hit, said they had recently performed in Phoenix and were on their way to their next show in Santa Ana, California when the crash occurred.
Shortly after 1 a.m., a Nissan pickup driving eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 10 collided head-on with a 15-passenger Ford van, which Engelbrektson was driving, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
When deputies responded to the crash, both vehicles were engulfed in flames. Arizona DPS says there was no evidence that either vehicle braked prior to the crash.
Engelbrektson and both members of Her, 24-year-old Stephen Fitzpatrick and 25-year-old Audun Laading, died in the crash. The 63-year-old driver of the Nissan also died.
Marvel Devitt, Engelbrektson's wife, met him through their love of music and performing.
“He is my best friend,” said Devitt. “He has always been more than just my partner. We were family before we ever got married. So we're part of this musical family.”
The family over the years extended beyond the walls of their home. Engelbrektson played in several bands, was a manager on several tours and worked sound tech for numerous venues.
"We’re still reeling in it,” said Devitt. “We’re still inside of the immediate tragedy. And I know that our community is the thing that is going to get us through.”
The Twin Cities music scene is mourning the loss of Engelbrektson and the other two musicians.
“He was very much an unsung creative force,” said Damien Tank, a longtime friend and band mate. “We used to call him the rock and roll scientist in a way. We’re going to sprinkle some rock and roll cheddar on it. He just knew all these little tricks to make a song better.”
“The news of Trevor Engelbrektson passing, along with Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading from Her’s, sent shockwaves through our community,” First Avenue said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones. This is a reminder to hold your friends close. Tell your people you love them.”
A “party for the best dude on earth” is being held on Tuesday, April 2 at Mortimer’s in Minneapolis.
The event description reads: “A beautiful man who loved his wife, his kids and did more for Minneapolis music than anybody could ever dream of was taken from us far too soon.”
The money raised from the event will go towards helping Engelbrekston’s wife raise their two children. There is also a GoFundMe for the Engelbrekston family.