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Last Updated: Monday, 12 March 2007, 11:26 GMT
Soul band Drifters in car crash
The Drifters [Rohan Delano Turney, Peter Lamarr, Victor Bynoe and Patrick Alan]
The band were in the middle of a lengthy UK tour
Soul band The Drifters have been involved in a serious car crash on the M1 in South Yorkshire.

The accident happened near Rotherham in the early hours of Monday when the band's car hit another vehicle that had crashed after swerving to avoid a deer.

Patrick Alan, who joined the band in 1990, suffered head injuries and is being treated at Rotherham hospital.

The other three band members - Peter Lamarr, Victor Bynoe and Rohan Turney - escaped with less serious injuries.

Turney and Lamarr also joined the band in the early 1990s, while Bynoe joined five years ago.

It is quite astonishing that we were not dealing with a fatal collision given the nature of the incident
Pc John Scruby
South Yorkshire Police

The group has undergone multiple line-up changes since forming in 1953. Ben E King was in the group in the late-1950s and again in the mid-1980s.

They enjoyed a string of hits in the 1960s and '70s including Under the Boardwalk and Kissin' in the Back Row of the Movies.

Speaking from his hospital bed on Monday, Patrick Alan said: "I woke up and there was a car stalled in the fast lane and then the airbag exploded.

"That's when I got knocked out. The next thing I knew the ambulance was there.

"I have a slight concussion but I'll be all right. I need to be on stage on Thursday."

Lamarr, Bynoe and Turney were released after treatment and have continued their journey to London following a performance at Newcastle's Tyne Theatre on Sunday night.

Their driver suffered cuts to his hand and was treated for a chest injury.

Extensive damage

The other driver, a 21-year-old man from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, suffered airbag injuries and whiplash.

However, he got out of his vehicle to the safety of the hard shoulder before the band's Chrysler Voyager people carrier smashed into his stationary Skoda at about 70mph.

Both vehicles were extensively damaged, South Yorkshire Police said.

Pc John Scruby of the Road Policing Group attended at the scene of the collision, said " It is quite astonishing that we were not dealing with a fatal collision given the nature of the incident."

Despite the crash, the band's manager Phil Luderman told the BBC they were planning to continue their UK tour, with their next scheduled performance in Northampton on Thursday.

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