Published Nov 30, 2017Ontario's chief coroner will hold an inquest into the death of Scott Johnson, the Radiohead drum technician who was killed in a 2012 stage collapse at Downsview Park in Toronto.
Though charges were initially brought against Live Nation, Optex Staging and engineer Domenic Cugliari, a judge stayed the charges this past September, ruling that the rights to a timely trial for the accused had been violated. CBC now reports that the band have been pressuring Ontario officials to provide answers in an attempt to give Johnson's parents some closure, eventually leading to the decision to conduct an inquest into his death.
Radiohead's management team, along with the late drum tech's parents Ken and Sue Johnson, have reportedly been meeting with British MP to draft letters to the Canadian High Commission demanding action.
"I would like to know who made mistakes, what the mistakes were and mostly to make sure that it doesn't happen to someone else because it cost my Scotty's life," Sue Johnson told CBC.
Radiohead drummer Philip Selway, meanwhile, said that he feels a personal obligation to seek justice for the Johnsons.
"When the collapse happened, it happened at four in the afternoon. Our soundcheck was due to start at four and I actually should have been where Scott was," he said. "That is an incredible weight, and personally I can't let this lie. I want to see a proper conclusion, something that is respectful to Scott."
In addition to expressing that she feels "so let down by Canada," Sue Johnson couldn't help but wonder if that case would have been taken more seriously had a member of Radiohead been in her son's spot.
"I wouldn't have wished it on any of the lads," she told CBC. "But if it would have been [a member] of Radiohead, would the outcome have been different?"
For their part, Selway and his bandmates remain dedicated to using their celebrity status to continue fighting the case.
Shortly after news broke that the charges had been stayed, frontman Thom Yorke reacted to the decision on Twitter, saying "Words utterly fail me." Radiohead later issued a band statement, which read:
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.
Full details of the impending inquest into Johnson's death are expected to be outlined later today (November 30).
UPDATE (11/30, 12 p.m. EST): Radiohead have now released an official statement regarding the inquest. You can find it below.