How tragic. Longtime bassist of the alternative metal band Deftones finally succumbed to a car injury that had left him in a partially conscious state since 2008. He was 42 years old.
Chi Cheng, bassist of the popular alt-metal group Deftones, was rushed to the hospital early on the morning of Apr. 13, but doctors were unable to save him — he passed away at the age of 42 at about 3 AM.
Chi Cheng: Bassist Passes Away At 42
Chi had been in a semi-conscious state since 2008, when he suffered major injuries and was left in a coma following a violent car accident. The musician was driving with his sister when they collided with another car, sending his car rolling. He was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected from the car.
Since then, Chi had been making a slow but steady recovery. In 2009 it was announced that he was no longer in a coma and in a partially conscious state instead. A year later, doctors said that he was showing signs of improved neuro function and had regained the ability to use his legs.
Chi’s death was announced in a statement posted by his family to the fan site Oneloveforchi.com — which is currently down because of increased traffic. In the statement, Jeanne Marie Cheng, or “Mama J,” writes, “He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear.”
Fellow bandmember and Deftones lead singer, Chino Moreno, confirmed Chi’s passing with a short but thoughtful note on his Facebook page: “Rest in peace Chi Cheng,” he wrote.
Chi was a founding member of the Deftones, who were integral in leading the nu-metal movement in the 90’s. The band made five albums between 1994 and 2006, and their self-titled album in 2003 peaked at number two on the Billboard charts.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Chi’s family and friends.
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— Andrew Gruttadaro