Stephen "Stevie" Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American blues-rock guitarist, whose broad appeal made him an influential electric blues guitarist. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Stevie Ray Vaughan #7 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, and Classic Rock Magazine ranked him #3 in their list of the 100 Wildest Guitar Heroes in 2007.
To complete the summer portion of the "In Step" tour, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble played two shows on August 25 and 26 at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, WI, while on tour with Eric Clapton.
For travel to the next venue, the tour manager reserved four helicopters to circumvent congested highway traffic. In very dense fog, the helicopters, not certified for flight under instrument flight rules (IFR) lifted off at 12:40 A.M. Just past the lift-off zone was a 300-foot hill. Vaughan's helicopter pilot was unfamiliar with the area, and did not climb to sufficient altitude immediately after take-off. Vaughan's helicopter crashed into the hill.
According to the findings as reported by the National Transportation Safety Board, the cause of the accident was determined to be inadequate planning by the pilot, and failure to attain sufficient altitude to clear an obstacle. Fog and haze, as well as the rising terrain were listed as contributing factors. All occupants including Vaughan, the pilot and three members of Eric Clapton's travel group were killed on impact.
On August 31, 1990, funeral services were held for Vaughan at Laurel Land Memorial Park in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, Texas. Brother Jimmie, mother Martha, and girlfriend Janna were in attendance. Among the mourners were Stevie Wonder, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, and Nile Rodgers.
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