While on their headlining tour with Escape the Fate, Amber Pacific, The Secret Handshake, and The A.K.A.'s in Washington, D.C., guitarist Casey Calvert was found dead on the band's tour bus on November 24, 2007. The band had kicked off their U.S. tour just the day before in Detroit, Michigan. Toxicology and autopsy reports state Calvert died of an accidental drug overdose. The official statement issued by the band says that Calvert died in his sleep and that his body was discovered before the band was to do a sound check prior to a show at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC.
Hawthorne Heights guitarist Casey Calvert died due to the "acute combined effects of opiate, citalopram and clonazepam intoxication," according to the just-released results of an autopsy performed by the office of the chief medical examiner in Washington, D.C. The autopsy listed Calvert's death as accidental. Dr. John Mendelson, a pharmacologist at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, told MTV News that "Cases like Calvert's are so rare that they're almost nonexistent. It's so rare that you can't even put a number on it," and that It's exceedingly rare that 26-year-olds die of anything medical. This kind of death is one in several million." Both citalopram (also known by the brand name Celexa) and clonazepam (also known by the brand names Klonopin and Rivotril) are prescription drugs, the former an antidepressant and the latter used to treat seizure disorders and panic attacks.
Drummer Eron Bucciarelli issued the following statement:
From the time of the incident we suspected a possible drug interaction as the cause. Casey wrestled with depression for as long as we knew him. He saw numerous doctors and took an ever-changing array of medicines to get better. He finally had his depression under control. According to the toxicology report, the cause of death was due to a fatal interaction between depression meds, anxiety meds and an opiate. Opiates being mentioned along with the term "substance abuse", coupled with "rockstar" stereotypes immediately conjure up images of hard drug use and addiction, which simply couldn't be further from the truth in Casey's instance. What the toxicology report doesn't show is that prior to us leaving for tour, Casey had a root canal, and was prescribed Vicodin (an opiate) for the pain. Once again, Casey was not involved in anything illegal nor was he a substance abuser.
JT Woodruff has stated that "We won't add another guitar player or add another screamer", and that "In our albums, it'll always say 'Casey Calvert: guitar/vocals.'" Bucciarelli stated in another interview that, "We don't need another screamer…If the fans want screaming, they can provide it themselves."
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