The Last Minutes In Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Life

The Last Minutes In Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Life | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via Tragic Stories / Youtube

In the late hours of August 26, 1990, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the renowned blues guitarist, unknowingly faced his final moments. Little did he know, fate had already set its course.

The preceding day had left an eerie premonition in Vaughan’s mind.

He shared a chilling nightmare with his band and crew, recounting a vision where he attended his own funeral, surrounded by thousands of mourners. Despite the terror, he admitted feeling an unusual sense of peace. These ominous words would resonate in the hours to come.

Backstage after the show, the talk turned to the possibility of future collaborations, particularly a series of dates at London’s Royal Albert Hall with Eric Clapton in tribute to Jimi Hendrix. Vaughan’s last words to Double Trouble drummer Chris Layton were a heartfelt, “I love ya.”

As the night progressed, the weather took a turn for the worse. Peter Jackson, Clapton’s tour manager, urged a timely departure. Little did they know, this urgency would set off a tragic chain of events.

Dew settled on the helicopters’ windshields, waiting to transport the performers back to Chicago. Stevie Ray, along with his brother Jimmie Vaughan and Jimmie’s wife Connie, headed to their reserved helicopter, a Bell 206B Jet Ranger, piloted by Jeff Brown.


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Upon arrival, they discovered their seats had been taken by members of Clapton’s crew.

Stevie, anxious to return to Chicago, asked his brother and sister-in-law if he could take the last seat. They agreed, and unaware of the fateful decision, Stevie took his place.

At 1 am, the helicopters departed in dense fog. Brown, guiding the helicopter at high speed and low altitude, banked sharply left, crashing into the side of a 300-foot-high ski slope, just 0.6 miles from takeoff. Tragically, all on board, including Stevie Ray Vaughan, lost their lives instantly.

The news of the crash remained unknown until the helicopters failed to arrive the next morning.

A search helicopter discovered the wreckage, 50 feet below the summit of the hill. Clapton and Jimmie Vaughan were called to identify the bodies, facing the harsh reality of the loss.

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s autopsy revealed unsurvivable injuries, with the cause of the crash attributed to controlled flight into terrain due to low visibility. The investigation ruled out drugs, alcohol, and mechanical failures. Pilot Jeff Brown, experienced and instrument-rated, simply couldn’t see the hill in the foggy conditions.

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