Early Sunday morning, Members of an East Valley band named Nuevo Eztilo were on their way home after performing at a Quinceañera in Cathedral City. As they were driving near the area of Ramon Road and Gene Autry Trail in Palm Springs, their vehicle was struck by a California Highway Patrol car that was involved in a high-speed pursuit of a suspect.
In total four people were hospitalized, two CHP officers and two members of the band. Jose Burgos Rivera, the band’s manager, suffered the worst injuries out of the four.
Riviera says he is just grateful that he was wearing his seatbelt and that he still has his life.
“I have my life. That’s the most important part,” Riviera said.
“I feel fortunate and thank God we are here, telling our story,” said Luis Fernando Flores Manso, the band’s bass guitarist.
The two Coachella Valley men are grateful to be alive after the close call.
“The only thing I remember is we were waiting at the light and we got hit,” Manso said.
“I have a fracture by my neck, and bruises on my body from the seatbelt, but I’m feeling better,” Riviera said.
The band has been together for five years and just spent $7,000 on new instruments and equipment which was all packed into the truck when the crash happened.
“We lost two speakers that were brand new. We lost two bass guitars and two other small speakers we had and all the batteries we had. Two other electric bass players and all of our cables,” Riviera said.
While the music may have stopped for now, the band is trying to pick up the pieces, one instrument at a time.
“Since we have a lot of friends, we’re trying to see if we can recover with help from other people,” Manso said.
Instead of opening a GoFundMe page, the band says they want to earn the money through old-fashioned hard work.
This Thursday, Nuevo Eztilo will be borrowing equipment to play a gig that will help recover some of the funds they are out. That performance will take place at Panchos Nightclub on Jackson Street in Indio.
The band will also be holding a benefit car wash at the same location on Saturday and Sunday.
CHP said due to the damage to the patrol vehicle, they haven’t been able to access the dash cam footage.
Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to call CHP at 760-772-5300.