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December 17, 2008
DJ Rated R seriously injured in Philippines car crash


DJ Rated R, a member of the Sacramento hip-hop group Live Manikins, was seriously injured Dec, 11 in a car crash near Baguio City.

Rated - real name Ronald Florente (pictured at right) - was on tour there with Manikin-offshoot Live Audible Soul, when the brakes on the passenger van in which he was riding apparently failed, said Florente's Live Manikin bandmate Justin Brown (a.k.a "Self").

Brown was not in the Philippines at the time of the crash.

According to Brown, the vehicle was going downhill when the brakes gave out. The van crashed and flipped over when it hit an embankment. Florente, 26, was in the van's back row of seats and went through a window upon impact and sustained major head and spinal injuries as well as a broken collarbone and clavicle, Brown says.

Another member of the group, Runt Rock (real name: Gabriel Pizarro), was also injured but only sustained bruises and scrapes and is now doing fine, Brown says.

But, although he's still in a Philippines-area hospital and won't be able to transfer back to Sacramento for at least a month, the DJ is expected to make a "full recovery," Brown says.

"He wasn't paralyzed ... he will recover - it will just take a long time."

In the meantime, Florente's friends and family are trying to raise money to pay for the portion of his medical expenses not covered by insurance.

The members of Live Manikins are planning a benefit show for the end of January. We'll keep you posted on the details.

Until then you can donate via the band's MySpace page or in person at the United States Clothing Boutique (1014 24th St, Sacramento).

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