IT’S been almost 13 years since the fatal plane crash which left Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker suffering horrific burns and battling PTSD.
Travis was aboard the doomed flight on September 19, 2008, along with his assistant Chris Baker, security guard Charles “Che” Still, his best friend Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein.
Both Baker and Still lost their lives, as well as two pilots, on the Learjet 60 which crashed shortly after takeoff in South Carolina.
His pal DJ AM died almost a year after the crash after overdosing as he struggled to cope with the impact of the horrific event.
Following an investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) report attributed the accident to tire bursts during take-off and the pilot’s resulting decision to abort at high speed – which was not recommended for the aircraft.
In his memoir, Can I Say, Travis, who is dating Kourtney Kardashian, describes the aftermath of the tragic 2008 event, including his battle with PTSD and suicidal thoughts.
This week, as Travis bravely embarked on a flight for the first time in 13 years, we look back at the rocker’s bone-chilling account of that awful time.
Chilling and bizarre occurrences leading up to the flight
Prior to boarding the plane, Travis recalled how a number of peculiar incidents took place.
At the time, Travis was with his on-again/off-again wife and model Shanna Moakler who almost joined them on the flight for the trip.
This was until she had an unnerving feeling at the last minute and decided to change her mind and stay home.
According to Travis, she decided to stay home and look after the children in case anything happened and they both weren’t there anymore for their kids.
Travis recalled that Shanna prophetically said: “Just in case something happens, I don’t want us both to be going.”
He also reports that his daughter Alabama, who was three years old at the time, screamed: “The roof’s gonna come off, Dad, the roof’s gonna come off!”
Eerily plans were changed at the last minute.
After a show in Columbia, South Carolina, the group’s original plan was to leave the next morning. Instead, they changed their mind and left that night.
The rockstar wrote in his memoir how he called his dad before flying and said he had a “weird f***ing feeling” about the flight.
The moment ‘I knew I was going to die’
Frightenly Travis opened up in detail on the moment the fright kicked in as he realized the plane was going down.
In Can I Say, he recalled the moment he started praying out loud.
Travis says DJ AM was asleep at the time of the crash and woke up to the rockstar screaming.
He claims it was just before the small plane went airborne and how he heard what he would describe as a “POW” noise.
Travis says the cabin then filled with smoke, which quickly turned into fire.
The plane then took an immediate turn and jerked wildly in the air.
He says it was then that it entered his mind: “I knew the worst was coming: I was going to die.”
Eventually, the aircraft crash-landed into a highway in an embankment.
It was then that Travis was on fire, recalling how he immediately began running.
He wrote: “I was in the craziest pain ever, like nothing I had ever felt before.
“I didn’t think I was going to survive.”
Travis escaped by opening the door to the plane and slid down its wing, with DJ AM following closely behind.
It was his best pal who then rushed to save him by using his own shirt to put Travis out of the fire.
The DJ was also on fire but rolled around on the ground managing to put the blaze out.
Thanking his friend, who died shortly after of a drug overdose, Travis says of his pal’s heroic actions: “If he hadn’t done that, I probably wouldn’t have feet or legs today.”
The aftermath, death, and injuries
Travis was left with third-degree burns covering 65% of his body.
Both pilots died, the co-pilot James Bland, 52, and captain Sarah Lemmon, 31, were both found in their autopsies to have died from smoke inhalation and burns that occurred minutes after the crash.
Passengers Charles Monroe Still, Jr. and Chris Baker are reported to have died upon impact.
Travis and DJ AM escaped the wreckage and after putting out the rockstar’s burning skin they immediately informed first responders there were four others still onboard.
Both Travis and the DJ suffered second and third-degree burns, the pair underwent skin grafts.
Following the incident, Travis was moved to a burn center in Georgia for 11 weeks.
He underwent 26 surgeries in total and suffered a broken back that has fractured in three places.
Writing in his memoir, he said he told friends: “I just want to die. I want someone to kill me,” at the height of his anxiety attacks and depression.
Tragically, Travis’ dear friend DJ AM suffered from the mental impact of the crash.
Travis recalled how his pal joined support groups and after 12 years of sobriety, began taking Xanax to ease anxiety when flying.
“I thought it was a mistake— I knew how easy it was for that to be a gateway to more dangerous things,” Travis wrote.
The following summer, the pair performed in Vegas together but this would be the last time the DJ ever would.
Travis says his pal’s last words he ever heard him speak were after the show and were: “I feel like doing mad drugs and just saying f*** it.”
When Travis heard about his pal’s death he was recording in a studio when the news flashed up on a computer nearby.
It announced that on August 29, 2009, DJ AM had died at the age of 36 following an overdose.
On how he felt, Travis said: “I was in shock: I felt like there was a rock in my throat that I couldn’t swallow.
“I felt like a piece of me had just died. I burst into tears and left the studio.”
The present-day comeback
Bravely the star has reportedly been working on his mindset and overcoming his PTSD “for a while”.
For the first time since the horrific night in 2008, Travis flew with girlfriend Kourtney Kardashian in August 2021, after six months of dating.
The pair, who are rumored to be expecting their first child together, flew in Kylie Jenner’s private jet to fly to Cabo from the US.
Kourtney and Travis were joined by Kris Jenner and her man, and Kourtney’s step-dad, Corey Gamble.
The father-of-two caught fans’ attention when he tweeted in June: “I might fly again,” alongside a plane emoji.
And it seems his fiance is helping him conquer his fears.
Last month, The Sun exclusively revealed that Kourtney and Travis are engaged after he proposed in Las Vegas.
Kourtney has also sparked pregnancy rumors in recent weeks by wearing loose clothes, giving up meat and fish, and quitting drinking alcohol.
She added to the speculation last month by sharing a post about gaining weight and “not because of food”.
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/3482902/travis-barker-plane-crash-nearly-died-kourtney-kardashian/