Dunkirk High School grad injured at concert in Buffalo

Submitted Photo Bird Piche, a 2017 graduate of Dunkirk High School, was severely injured at a concert in Buffalo last week after a band member jumped into the crowd.

BUFFALO — Being a fan in the crowd at a concert is an exhilarating feeling. Shouting the words to your favorite song while looking around to witness a sea of people do the same can be unforgettable.

But one former resident was severely injured last week at a Buffalo concert. Bird Piche, a 2017 graduate of Dunkirk High School, went to see the Australian punk rock band Trophy Eyes perform at the Mohawk Place concert venue in downtown Buffalo last Tuesday. Early in the show, the band’s singer, John Floreani, jumped into the crowd in an attempt to “crowd-surf” on the raised arms of the fans.

Piche suffered a “catastrophic” spinal cord injury, which resulted in “extensive surgery”, according to a GoFundMe page established in her name. Piche will be unable to work for the time being and needs extensive rehabilitation from the injury. “It is still too early to know what her prognosis is,” the fundraiser said.

WKBW-TV was first to report on the incident, which has since been covered by The Buffalo News, along with various national and international outlets.

Marty Boratin, a veteran of the Buffalo music scene who regularly books concerts at Mohawk Place, told the Buffalo News that there is a strict policy against crowd-surfing and stage-diving at the venue, but that it still continues to happen. “It’s stupid and dangerous and people continue to do it,” Boratin told the Buffalo News.

Piche was victimized by the band’s failure to adhere to the venue’s rules. Even more tragically, she is not the first.

As noted by the Buffalo News, approximately 13 years ago, Mike Bird, a then-19-year-old fan, suffered a spinal injury when a musician jumped off the stage into the crowd at Mohawk Place. Bird was initially paralyzed from the waist down.

As of Monday morning, the GoFundMe page, titled Support Bird’s Recovery and Rehabilitation, had raised nearly $45,000 to support Piche’s recovery. Among the more than 850 donations is a $5,000 donation from the band, Trophy Eyes. Stephanie Brown and Leo Wolters Tejera are organizing the fundraiser.

“We will update with details according to her comfort level,” Brown and Wolters Tejera stated on the page.

The funds raised through the GoFundMe campaign will be used for medical bills and other needs in order to function due to the accident.

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/birdforever


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