Musician Dies in Car Crash: Tributes Pour in for David Leadbetter

David Leadbetter, a musician who found fame in South Africa, died in a car crash in Somerset, England on Nov. 24. He was 64. The guitarist's wife, Michelle, said her husband was a "humorous, spiritual, compassionate" man.

The crash happened at about 19:25 GMT in Clavertown Down Road, reports BBC News. Police in Avon and Somerset said Leadbetter was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died of his injuries. Authorities are asking witnesses to the crash or those who may have dashcam footage to come forward. Police are also working with the coroner and hospital doctors to ensure Leadbetter's organs are donated to save the lives of others, reports Bath Echo. The crash involved three cars.

Leadbetter was born in the U.K., but he spent most of his life in South Africa, Michelle said in a statement on Dec. 1. "We are truly stunned and saddened by the untimely death of David James Leadbetter as a result of the devastating collision on Thursday," she said. She said the guitarist was a "beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend."

"We have lost a humorous, spiritual, compassionate, vibrant, talented, and knowledgeable individual," Michelle continued. "He was passionate about music and loved family, friends, nature, animals, and life. Our world will be significantly diminished by his loss." Michelle added that the condolences they have received from around the world show Leadbetter "may be gone, but never forgotten."

During his career, Leadbetter was based in Cape Town and he took influence from a wide variety of genres. "I think South Africa is extremely diverse in music and there's so many different influences that are all different but yet all the same," he said in a 2018 interview with All About Jazz. "You can hear they're from the same place but from different parts of the same place. That's the great thing about South African music. Since 1994, people have been able to get their stuff out there and have it played and heard. It's reached a wider global audience, and long may it continue."

Leadbetter also explained how music had always been an important part of his life. "My mum was a Classical pianist, a very excellent one," he told All About Jazz. "And so my earliest memories would be around the piano listening to music and then taking piano lessons and guitar lessons. Everything was music. So from as early as I can remember, there was always musical activity in the house. Then there was music at school. I think the moment I heard the Beatles for the first time was when I realized that there was something here for me."