Shanna Moakler Rushes to Travis Barker's Side
Travis Barker’s former mother-in-law, Gail Moakler, tells PEOPLE, “We’re totally crushed,” but that Shanna Moakler has rushed to be with her ex, while DJ AM’s sister, Lara, and her husband, Benjamin Long, learned the news of the plane crash – in which Barker and DJ AM were badly burned and four others were killed – from a phone call from AM’s mother on Saturday morning.
“We’re in shock,” Benjamin Long told PEOPLE. “Nobody expects something like this. We’re waiting to hear more.”
Moakler, whose daughter Shanna was married to Barker, tells PEOPLE, “Our heart pours out. We’re hoping he recovers. The family is rallying around him and saying our prayers.”
Both Barker, 32, and DJ AM (real name: Adam Michael Goldstein), 35, were taken to a burn center in Augusta, Georgia, about 75 miles southwest of the Columbia, S.C., crash site. Both are listed in critical condition.
Four others on the plane were killed: pilot Sarah Lemmon, 31, of Anaheim Hills, Calif.; co-pilot James Bland, 52, of Carlsbad, Calif.; security guard Charles Still, 25, of Los Angeles; and Barker’s assistant Chris Baker, 29, also of Los Angeles.
Children Not Told
Upon hearing the news of the crash, “Shanna flew out this morning, and I am going to L.A. to be with the children so that she can devote time to Travis,” Gail Moakler tells PEOPLE.
Former Playboy Playmate Shanna Moakler, 33, was married to Barker from 2004 until earlier this year. They have two children: son Landon, 4, and daughter Alabama, 2.
“There’s still love between them,” says Gail Moakler. “They may be divorced, but they’re still very close. She spends a lot of time with him. Their priorities are their kids.”
The youngsters have yet to be told about the incident. “We’re waiting a bit to see what God brings,” says their grandmother, who adds, “Shanna spoke to Travis last night. He was defiant after the accident and didn’t want to be lifted in a helicopter, but rather an ambulance, so they had to knock him out.”
DJ AM is a Survivor
“The whole thing is crazy,” said Benjamin Long. “We’re thankful that he made it. And we feel horrible about those who didn’t. It’s just awful.”
He added that his bother-in-law is a survivor. “He flies all the time,” says Long. “A lot of people know his story. He’s pulled through a lot of things in the past.”
The Learjet carrying six people that crashed after midnight Friday was just over one year old and chartered from Global Executive Aviation in Long Beach, Calif., according to Columbia Metropolitan Airport spokesperson Lynne Douglas,
“The crash was the result of an overrun on its flight to Van Nuys [Calif.],” says Douglas, who attended a National Transportation Safety Board press conference Saturday afternoon in Columbia. “The NTSB is gathering information and fact finding to learn what happened in this tragedy.”
A statement was also issued by the Pure Management Group’s vice-president of entertainment, Michael Greco. It said, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to both Adam and Travis. The PMG family is deeply saddened by the news of this unfortunate event and we wish Adam and Travis a speedy recovery and send our sincere condolences to the families who lost loved ones.”
• Additional reporting by MARK GRAY