- The Washington Times - Monday, September 22, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga. | Former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and celebrity disc jockey DJ AM - whose real name is Adam Goldstein - were burned in a fiery South Carolina jet crash that killed the other four people aboard, one of their doctors said Sunday.

Dr. Fred Mullins, medical director of the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, said the two suffered second- and third-degree burns but had no other injuries from the crash, which one witness described as a fireball shooting across a highway.

“Anybody who can survive a plane crash is pretty lucky,” Dr. Mullins told reporters Sunday morning.

Dr. Mullins declined to discuss specific recovery times for the musicians, but said such injuries can take a year to fully heal. Both men were in critical but stable condition, Dr. Mullins said.

The Learjet crashed late Friday night shortly after taking off from an airport in Columbia, where the men had just performed for thousands of college students.

The plane’s two-member crew and two of the musicians’ staff members - also their close friends - were killed.

As the plane was departing, air traffic controllers reported seeing sparks, officials said. The plane hurtled off the end of a runway and came to rest a quarter-mile away on an embankment across a five-lane highway, engulfed in flames.

One witness said he was driving when a fireball streaked across the highway about 600 feet ahead of him. William Owens said he approached to see the two survivors frantically trying to remove their burning clothes.

“I noticed two guys who were on fire and it looked like a dance: They didn’t know what to do,” said Mr. Owens, 60, a delivery van driver.

Mr. Goldstein had stripped off his own shirt and was helping Mr. Barker strip naked, said Mr. Owens, who was able to identify the men Saturday night because of news reports that showed Mr. Barker’s extensive tattoos.

Mr. Owens said Mr. Goldstein told him that four other people were aboard the jet, but the flames were too intense to get close.

“‘Oh my God,’ was all they were saying,” Mr. Owens said of Mr. Barker and Mr. Goldstein. “They stood there and it’s like - didn’t know what to do. None of us did.”

Two other passengers - Chris Baker, 29, of Studio City, Calif., and Charles Still, 25, of Los Angeles - died, as did pilot Sarah Lemmon, 31, of Anaheim Hills, Calif., and co-pilot James Bland, 52, of Carlsbad, Calif., the county coroner said.

The plane was headed for Van Nuys, Calif.

AP writers Jim Davenport, Nekesa Mumbi Moody and Thomas Watkins contributed to this report.

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