Musician killed in head-on wreck with school bus

HOUSTON The news of what happened came fast and hard to those who knew and loved Kelton. They're still trying to make sense of his death.

Outside Buddy "Love" Brewer's home, he says the sky is crying. Inside, Brewer has been shedding tears of his own.

"I just couldn't believe it," said Brewer. "Gene was more than a musician. He would amuse you with his stories, wow you with his songs, make you want to get up and dance on the dance floor."

Kelton was his longtime friend. Brewer was his road manager.

"The world has lost a great guy, a great husband, loving father and perfect friend," said Brewer.

Kelton died Tuesday night in a wreck near Crosby on FM 2100. Investigators say the vehicle in front of him stopped to turn left at Tall Cedars Street. Kelton swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid rear-ending that vehicle. Instead he slammed head on into an oncoming school bus.

Mean Gene Kelton has played blues and rock for decades. He is known for his irreverent, colorful lyrics. Mean Gene Kelton and The Die Hards just opened for ZZ Top earlier this month in Odessa. Friend Sandy Hickey just spoke to him days ago.

"He was such a great person, just a good old guy," Hickey said.

Hickey is the former president of the Houston Blues Society. She remembers Kelton for his passion, his big heart and his tireless dedication to the promotion of his music and the needs of others.

"Always there for everybody, helping everybody. I'll bet you Gene Kelton has logged more benefits than anybody I know," said Hickey.

Kelton was also an actor and an author. He just wrote a book, "Gigs From Hell." Brewer got a proof and says as a friend and a fan, he will cherish it eternally.

"All his fans were the die hards and that's true. Once you join the family, you're in forever," said Brewer.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office is investigating the crash. "We'll have to wait until we reconstruct the crash, which could be weeks," said Sgt. S. Wolverton with the Harris Co Sheriff's Office. "We're just in the beginning stages of this investigation and this investigation will take a while."

We're told the bus was carrying Crosby High School's 9th grade girl's basketball team back from a game in Liberty. The children on the bus suffered only minor injuries.

Investigators are running tests to see if Kelton was intoxicated at the time of the crash. Those who knew him best say there's no way and that he was a guy who didn't do drugs and lived a clean, healthy life.

Kelton was supposed to perform in Crosby at Rowdy Bucks for a New Year's Eve party. It's unclear now if the band will play without him.

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