Barenaked Singer Escapes Plane Crash

By | August 25, 2008 at 6:06 PM

This just hasn’t been the Barenaked Ladies’ year. First, cofounder Steven Page gets busted for drugs. Now this.

BNL’s lead singer and principal songwriter, Ed Robertson, and three others narrowly averted disaster Sunday, walking away unscathed from a float-plane crash near Bancroft, Ontario.

According to the Intelligencer of Belleville, Ontario, Robertson was at the controls of a Cessna 206 when a gust of wind caused the plane to stall, forcing him to put down in a wooded area near the resort of Baptiste Lake.

“Everyone is fine and that is the important thing,” Barenaked Ladies rep Adam Smith told the newspaper. “That’s all the comment we have at this time.”

Per local authorities, the Cessna was taking off from the lake when it lost air speed and went down. The plane’s landing was cushioned by a grove of maple trees (oh, Canada!), and Robertson, 37, managed to safely guide the craft to a halt.

“They’re all really lucky to get out of there. I think there was somebody on their side,” fire chief Brian Sears told the Intelligencer. “They could smell the fuel, so they didn’t waste any time getting out.”

While the plane was totaled, Robertson and his passengers were uninjured. Because the doors were jammed, they climbed out a window and then hiked out of the forest to a nearby road and reported the incident.

Officials declined to reveal the identities of the other occupants, but an acquaintance told the paper the passengers were the musician’s wife, Natalie, and two family friends.

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board has launched an investigation.

It’s been a bumpy road for the Ladies this summer. Aside from Robertson’s brush with death, the band has been hampered by the fallout stemming from Page’s July 11 drug arrest in upstate New York.

The 38-year-old musician was taken into custody with a female companion and another woman after police allegedly found cocaine in their Syracuse-area apartment. He was booked on felony possession of a controlled substance and released on $10,000 bail.

Consequently, the band bailed on Disney’s Music Block Party tour, a series of family-friendly concerts.

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