There’s never been any question that the guys in the Dropkick Murphys are a bunch of seriously standup guys. Their devotion to their hometown of Boston as well as their work with various charities, most notably frontman Ken Casey’s Claddagh Fund, have shown that the band has reached out at every opportunity to help those in need.
And following the latest event, when the band’s bus struck and killed a pedestrian early Sunday morning, the band has stepped forward once again to help out any way they can.
Sources are reporting that Dalton Lane Clark, 23, was struck by the band’s bus at about 3 a.m. on northbound Interstate 35 outside of Austin, Texas. While initial statements had suggested it was being investigated as a suicide, more recent statements from the victim’s family suggest that is not the case, but that Clark was trying to cross the interstate. The band had been traveling to Dallas airport to drop off a member of the band following a show in San Antonio.
Following the tragic event, the band decided to cancel their Tulsa date, issuing the following statement on Facebook:
We were involved in a tragic and fatal accident when a pedestrian suddenly ran onto the highway in front of our tour bus. Police suspect a suicide. We were left with a driver that has been severely shaken up by the accident and a bus too damaged to continue onto Tulsa… As much as it pains us to miss a show and we truly apologize for it, we’d like to stop and acknowledge that a man has lost his life. Please keep him and any family he might have in your prayers.
Dropkick Murphys’ support acts, Bryan McPherson and Blood or Whiskey, were already in Tulsa and played a free show at The Hunt Club, a venue near Cain’s Ballroom, the sight of the canceled date. The next date of the tour is set for November 19 in Mexico City, as the band continues south of the border.
Police are investigating the death as an “accidental fatality,” and haven’t cited the driver.
But where the Murphys stepped in was following the family’s creation of a GoFundMe page to help Clark’s fiancé raise money for funeral expenses and a college fund for their son. The Murphys stepped in quietly, donating $25,000 and offering a comment that reads in part, “we are sorry for your loss and grieve with you.”
This comes shortly after a teen in East Earl, PA allegedly assaulted two police officers in a drug-fueled rage while yelling the band’s name. In the attack, 18-year-old William E. Clayton is said to have punched and kicked a pair of officers while screaming a litany of words including “America” and “Dropkick Murphys.” The attack hospitalized Officer Courtenay DeLaney.
Shortly after, Murphys frontman Ken Casey called East Earl police chief Kevin McCarthy to make sure the officers were OK. He then followed up with a care package of Dropkick Murphys shirts, hats and gear. The chief has joked that the officers may wear the shirts to court, while Casey has himself joked that, “I’d have preferred he yelled another band’s name.”
This is a band that has always kept their attention on the working class, and now is no exception. All of us here would like to offer our thoughts, prayers and condolences with Clark’s family and friends, as well as with the members of the band.