Friday, 31st December 2021
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37 Years Ago DEF LEPPARD Drummer RICK ALLEN Loses Left Arm In Car Accident (Story/Photos)

Def Leppard 1989. Rick Allen

Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car crash 37 years ago today in Sheffield, England on New Year's Eve 1984.

Read the story of the tragic accident that took away his left arm as told by the band.

Rick, who celebrated his 57th birthday last month, was driving back from the Ladybower Reservoir outside of Sheffield, England on the A57 road with girlfriend Miriam Barendsen when he was involved in an accident after trying to overtake another car.

Rick lost control of his left hand drive Corvette Stingray coming off of a sharp left hand turn. The car flipped over and hit a wall. His seatbelt came undone and took off his left arm as he was thrown through the sunroof.

Luckily a local nurse, another district nurse and a policeman all stopped to help. One of the nurses, Eileen Pierce, later married another of the police officers who attended the scene, Roger Pierce. (Note - Not the people shown in Behind The Music).

Surgeons managed to reattach the arm but sadly on 4th January 1985 it had to be amputated due to an infection. Rick then left hospital on 29th January 1985 and was back with the band at Wisseloord Studios in Holland on 22nd February. Rick managed to recover to play drums again within 3 months of his accident and has continued to be the drummer with Def Leppard to the present day.

Rick returned to drumming with the band after a new electronic drum kit was developed. Sadly local Sheffield electrician Pete Hartley, who designed his first foot pedals, passed away in 2015.

Read the story of that day including excerpts from the Animal Instinct biography, 1985 news quotes and a 2007 UK article.

Also included are photos from the accident aftermath looking away from Sheffield and back towards Sheffield. Taken just after the crash by the local press during the clean up.

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Def Leppard 1984.

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