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Band’s survivors heading for home

Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

ROCK FALLS – The seven survivors of a van crash Monday afternoon on Interstate 88 east of Lyndon either were home or were on their way home Wednesday, one of the men said.

Colton Eriksen, 19, of West Jordan, Utah, the guitarist for the Salt Lake City band Dark Seas, died when he was thrown from the van as it rolled into the median after the driver fell asleep at the wheel, investigators said.

He was not wearing a seat belt, Whiteside County Sheriff Kelly Wilhelmi said Monday.

The driver, Colton Elliot, 23, was cited for improper driving on the shoulder. More charges could be pending, depending on toxicology results, Wilhelmi said.

The other passengers – Samuel Giles and Joseph Sandmire, both 18 and of South Jordan, Utah; bassist Irvin Martinez, 22, and guitarist Diego Mijares, 24, both of Sandy, Utah; drummer Rhett Hansen, 23, of Draper, Utah, and vocalist Kyle G. Wilcox, 24, of San Diego – were staying at the Super 8 Motel in Rock Falls until Wednesday afternoon, when they got a ride home, Mijares said.

Elliot, who had family in the region, was picked up Monday and flew home, Mijares said, adding that the rest of the men, all of whom were injured except for him, were OK, and were grateful for the kindness shown to them by nurses at CGH Medical Center and others who gave them money and helped them find shelter until they could find a way home.

According to its Facebook page, the Salt Lake City band played Sioux City, Iowa, Sunday night and was en route to a show in Chicago on Monday night.

The band, which is well known in Utah, posted a tribute video to Eriksen on its page.

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