Victim of country tour bus crash identified as sound engineer


David Turner

The California Highway Patrol has identified a 64-year-old sound engineer as the man who died after the tour bus transporting country singer Josh Turner’s road crew plunged off an approximately 50-foot cliff near Shandon late Wednesday night. 

David Turner, of Oxford Mississippi, was the only person who died in the crash. David Turner was unrelated to Josh Turner, though he worked for the country singer for nearly 14 years.

Josh Turner and his band were on a separate bus when the crash occurred. 

On Wednesday night, Josh Turner performed at Vina Robles in Paso Robles. After the show, the tour bus was traveling eastbound on Highway 46, just east of McMillan Canyon Road, at about 50 to 60 mph, when for unknown reasons, the vehicle drove off the roadway, according to the CHP. The vehicle continued along a dirt shoulder driving through a barbed wire fence and dense vegetation for about 200 yards before plunging off a cliff.

Upon impact, the front of the bus struck the bottom of a dry river bed, ejecting two passengers, one of whom was David Turner. 

Bradley Dratnol, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was driving the bus, according to the CHP. Dratnol was transported to Fresno Regional Hospital with undisclosed injuries.

Josh Turner

The six other people injured in the crash were: Carl Hardin, 26; Justin Lambert, 26; Jed Downing, 59; Richard Lazarus, 56; James Mayo, 66; and John Dauphniee, 59. At least some of these individuals were transported to Twin Cities Community Hospital and Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.

The investigation into the crash remains ongoing. Drugs and alcohol were not factors in the crash, KSBY reported.

After experiencing some difficulty doing so, authorities managed to move the wrecked bus out of the river bed.

Josh Turner’s remaining September shows have been canceled and will be rescheduled. Numerous country musicians have expressed their condolences in the aftermath of the fatal crash in SLO County.