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Def Leppard Rocked by Car Crash

Circus Magazine

The future plans of Def Leppard looked uncertain as Circus Magazine went to press, due to a tragic car accident involving Rick Allen which resulted in the loss of the drummer's left arm. Allen was driving his Corvette on Rivelin Road near Sheffield, England on December 31st when, at 12:50 p.m. he collided with a wall reportedly at high speed.

The car, also carrying Allen's girlfriend Miriam Barendson, 22, of Amsterdam, overturned and he was catapulted into a field. Allen's left arm was torn off at the shoulder and the 21-year-old drummer was taken to nearby Royal Hallamshire Hospital where microsurgery was attempted. The first operation to reattach his arm, beginning at 1:30 and lasting nearly 10 hours, appeared to be a success as the arm retained warmth, indicating the critical presense of blood circulation. However, severe internal bleeding followed and forced a second operation. Although doctors at the hospital were initially optimistic, Allen's injuries proved too severe and the arm had to be amputated to ensure his survival. Ms. Barendson, who was trapped in the car until rescuers pulled her out, suffered some head injuries but was later released.

Def Leppard was on a two week vacation at the time of the accident. The group had been in the midst of recording sessions for the follow up to their multi-platinum Pyromania LP when the crash occured. Because the drum tracks for the album had already been completed, Allen's accident will not affect the records release, and aided by electronic drums, Rick hoped at press time to continue as Leppard's drummer.