Musicians, struck by train, showing signs of recovery
Two members of the Oakland R&B band Tower of Power remained in serious condition Friday but were recovering after being hit by an Amtrak train near Jack London Square on Thursday night, the group’s leader said.
Drummer David Garibaldi and bassist Marc van Wageningen were critically injured just before a scheduled show at the jazz nightclub Yoshi’s. Initial reports from police and witnesses indicate that four people were trying to cross the tracks just after a long freight train had passed, not realizing that an Amtrak train was coming from the other direction.
Two people in the group were able to jump out of the way, but Garibaldi and van Wageningen were struck by the Capitol Corridor commuter train, rolling through at about 25 mph. The warning guard arms were down at the time, police said.
Bandleader Emilio Castillo said Friday that doctors at Highland Hospital were cautiously optimistic about his bandmates’ conditions. Castillo said he saw Garibaldi on Thursday night but that van Wageningen was in the intensive care unit.
“Dave’s head and face were pretty swollen and bruised but he was lucid and expected to recover,” Castillo said in a statement. “Marc came through surgery well; his internal bleeding was stopped and they were waiting for him to stabilize in order to do further testing.”
The 10-member Tower of Power has long been a fixture on the Oakland and R&B music scenes. Garibaldi is among the four original members still in the group, which was founded in 1968 and produced the hits “What is Hip?” and “You’re Still a Young Man.”
The show scheduled for Thursday night, which was canceled, was one of several the group was doing in Oakland before a tour across the country.
On Friday morning, Amtrak was involved in another crash when a Capitol Corridor train in Santa Clara struck and killed a motorist.
Tower of Power drummer David Garibaldi, left, and bassist Marc van Wageningen were hurt in Oakland.