Christopher Sebela

writer, wronger, rearranger

The death of a Deep Purple bodyguard

Back at the group’s hotel after the opening concert, Patsy Collins got into an argument with two other member of the road crew and left their room to go upstairs to his own. The elevators in the hotel were operating slowly, so the impatient Collins decided to walk up the fire escape stairs to the next floor, only to find the door on the next landing locked. Then, inside the stairwell on the sixth floor he found an unmarked, unlocked door. He opened it and hastily stepped in, plunging three-floors down the service elevator shaft, crashing through some hot water pipes. The explosion was heard by another of the band’s crew, who ran from the hotel lobby thinking a bomb had gone off. Boiling water cascaded through the lobby ceiling.

A set of larger pipes had stopped Collins’s fall, and though in shock, the stout, muscular man smashed through a door on the third floor, only to be trapped again by another locked door. Bleeding profusely and badly burned, Collins accidently stumbled back into the shaft. Falling three more floors to the main floor.

Amazingly, Collins got to his feet again, found an open door and staggered into the hotel lobby, muttering, “Hospital.” He walked outside the hotel, climbed into a parked minibus and then collapsed. Hospitalized, he died early the next morning from internal injuries and burns.

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