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  • The Metal Voice

Dec. 31, 1984 Def Leppard Drummer Rick Allen Nearly Lost His Life & Did Lose His Left Arm In Car Accident

On this day in Def Leppard history Rick Allen was involved in an horrific car accident just outside of Sheffield, England.

The accident would take his left arm away but he would eventually return to drumming.

As reported on Def Leppard's Website (read more here)

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

Rick 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.

Location of the crash site Google map

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.

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