Radiohead Hope for Justice in Stage Collapse Inquest
Radiohead have released a statement in response to the news that a new investigation is to look into the stage collapse that caused the death of roadie Scott Johnson in 2012. He died when a structure at Downsview Park in Toronto, Canada, toppled over. But a criminal trial into the tragedy was stayed in September after a judge ruled that too many delays had taken place.
The band shared a cautiously positive message yesterday (Nov. 30) when they said, “Five years on from the Downsview Park Stage Collapse, we have learned that an inquest into Scott Johnson's death will be formally announced later today. While this is welcomed, it does not bring those responsible for Scott’s death to account, and it provides no justice for Scott and his family. We urge the Canadian authorities to look more closely into their treatment of the Downsview Stage Collapse and indeed all workplace deaths to ensure that accidents such as this can be prevented in the future."
Rolling Stone reported that the results of the inquest into Johnson’s death wouldn’t be binding, but could be used as a basis to avoid similar tragedies in the future. The drum tech was 33 when he died while helping setting up the planned Radiohead show at Downsview Park. The following year, Canada’s Ministry of Labour issues charges against the three industry companies under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. The process was derailed because of a law that requires provincial court trials should be held within 18 months of charges being made.
That led frontman Thom Yorke to say, “Words utterly fail me…” and the band later said in a statement, “We are appalled by the decision to stay the charges against Live Nation, Optex Staging and Domenic Cugliari. This is an insult to the memory of Scott Johnson, his parents and our crew. It offers no consolation, closure or assurance that this kind of accident will not happen again."