Country music legend, Gene Watson, was just eight miles from his Sunday , October 2nd show in Sandstone, MN when his bus lurched off the road and nearly flipped over. The GPS system programmed the route for a narrow gravel road to the venue . When the bus driver politely pulled over a bit to allow for an oncoming truck, the road under Watson’s bus completely crumbled and the bus narrowly missed falling into a boggy area which could have caused the bus to flip completely over.
Fortunately for the artist and his band and crew, the bus caught on its side and stayed in that position. The singer and crew had to climb out of a window to get out of the bus and although shaken from the tumble, no one was seriously injured.
Four tow trucks were called to the scene. The first three were too small to pull the enormous touring bus. Finally a 50 Ton rotator truck arrived and the bus was hauled back on the road. Meanwhile Gene Watson and his band had been driven to the show site with only their traveling clothes and no instruments. As the saying goes, “the show must go on” so Gene and his band performed the first of two shows in “bus clothes” and borrowed an opening band’s musical instruments. Gene’s pedal steel player anxiously awaited for a pedal steel to arrive from 80 miles away but it arrived just in time for the first show.
Gene Watson, long known for being a former paint and body specialist who still owns his own body shop wryly noted “I was glad that none of my band or crew were hurt in the accident and that the bus only suffered superficial paint and body damage. Fortunately, I know a little place that can handle that work and I am hoping I can get a discount.”
Gene Watson is on his way today to Nashville, TN where he will join his friend, country great Randy Travis on the Grand Ole Opry Tuesday October 4th, where they will sing a song they recorded for Randy’s 25 th Anniversary Celebration album, a track titled “Didn’t We Shine”.