Donna Ulisse et al survive weather-related crash

Donna Ulisse and the Poor Mountain Boys felt the effects of the winter weather in the upper midwest early this morning while traveling through Indiana on the way to a last minute booking in Michigan.

They encountered a patch of ice on a bridge and lost control of their vehicle, with the trailer they were pulling – containing all their instruments and merchandise – ending up on the other side of the interstate. Thankfully the trailer disconnected from the van, and the primary vehicle did not roll.

Kathy Sacra-Anderson with Ulisse’s label, Hadley Music Group, shared a few more details.

“They were on their way to their concert tonight in Tawas City, MI (part of the Corsair Concert Series). Greg Davis was driving and according to Donna, he kept such a cool head about him that was what kept the van from flipping.

Donna’s Martin guitar is in pieces, as is the upright bass, with other damage still being assessed. The trailer had to be left behind….it is totaled. They loaded everything into the van (literally crammed it in) and headed back to Nashville.

The show in Michigan is canceled, needless to say, but thankfully nobody was hurt.”

Sounds like a close call. Next time you attend a live concert featuring a touring band, don’t forget to thank them for what they do to bring the music you love straight to where you live. It’s a hard life, and not without its risks.

Update 3:15 p.m. – Donna shared a few thoughts on their ordeal as well.

“What a ride we took last night! There will most assuredly be songwriting material from this episode in the Poor Mountain Boys’ great adventures.

We were heading for Tawas, Michigan to play a show this evening and knew we were going to hit some light snow. I was prepared in the way I knew to prepare….I ran out and purchased ‘snow boots,’ a cooler full of bottled water, snacks enough to see us through a month, and twenty blankets – but never had a clue about black ice.

Rick Stanley, my honey had just switched over and let Greg ‘papaw’ Davis have the wheel because we wanted a little sleep before we hit the snow. I say ‘we’ because I am always Rick’s shotgun rider. It was my turn to have the luxury bench in the van, the one all the way to the rear. Bobby King was in the next bench and Rick was in bench #1.

I took my new snow boots off and had just shut my eyes when I felt the back of the van start to turn. It’s funny how much I can remember thinking because it was so very sharp and soulful. I remember uttering a prayer as we started spinning and thinking that I should remain in the position I was in we when rolled.

As the van made a quick 180 degree turn the trailer popped off and like a slingshot, catapulted to the other side of the interstate and started rolling. That’s was the God moment! Had the trailer not detached we would have rolled the van!

When the van finally rested there was complete silence and poor Papaw was shaken. I felt so bad for him, for all of us. My stomach was a big knot as we all rose up from our benches and tried to become aware.

We didn’t see the trailer right away because we were facing traffic….THE WRONG WAY….and 18 wheelers were whizzing by. Everyone was asking Papaw if he was OK, we all felt bad for him. Then we spied the trailer and there was a silent walk across the interstate. I stayed in the van trying to call Kathy and emailing Greg Nelkie, the promoter for the show.

When they walked back over to the van they were shaking their heads….The Poor Mountain Boys looked like they had just come from a viewing at a funeral home. Bobby King’s pretty blonde upright has been greatly damaged. My Martin is hurt.

Of course my merch is whacked….I suppose folks in Indiana will be finding Donna Ulisse CD’s for awhile.

Here’s the good news….we are well and will joyfully get to pick more music. God is a mighty God and kept us safe through a very scary spin.

We are calling it the Poor Mountain Boys Ice Capades and I don’t recommend anyone trying this at home.”

Share this:

About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.