DEFTONES guitarist Stephen Carpenter (pictured below) has released a statement in remembrance of the band’s bassist, Chi Cheng, who passed away on Saturday, April 13, 2013, following complications from a 2008 car accident that left him in a semi-comatose state. He was 42.
He said: “There are so many things I can say, and yet at this moment, none of it matters or compares to the loss everyone feels.
“There will be a hole in our lives where Chi once was. But that will be filled every day with all of our love and memories we all have in our heart. He will always be here because of love.
“It’s time we all give our love and best, and do our best to love. Especially ourselves. Chi would want that for everyone. All our healing will begin with love.
“I love you, Chi.”
According to The Pulse Of Radio, Cheng was riding in a car driven by his sister Mae that flipped three times after a collision with another vehicle on a road in Santa Clara, California. Cheng was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car.
He underwent surgery to remove part of his brain after the accident, although he was strong enough to come off life support seven months later.
Although Cheng never recovered full consciousness after his accident, he was gradually able to emerge for brief periods of time from his coma and see and hear things happening around him, although he could not respond verbally.
Cheng was also in and out of hospitals for various infections over the last four years, as his family struggled with mounting medical bills. Cheng was dropped by his insurance company just months after his accident.
DEFTONES and other acts held benefit concerts to raise money for Cheng‘s medical bills, and DEFTONES continued to donate money from the band’s own tours as well.
Sergio Vega stepped in to play for the band on tour after Cheng‘s accident, staying on to record 2010’s “Diamond Eyes” and 2012’s “Koi No Yokan”.
The last record that Cheng worked on, an abandoned project called “Eros”, remains unreleased.