NEWTOWN, Conn. — The members of the Alpaca Gnomes and its fans are mourning the death of the band's bass player in a motorcycle crash in Newtown.
Martin V. Amidon IX, 37, a Newtown resident, died late Tuesday afternoon in one-vehicle crash at 195 Riverside Road in Sandy Hook, police said.
"Thank you for your kindness and outpouring of support and love during this difficult time," says a post on the Facebook page for the Alpaca Gnomes. "We love you."
The scheduled performances at The Acoustic on Friday night and at Olive's on Saturday night were canceled by the Bridgeport-based band, which plays a large variety of local venues.
"Sending love to all of our gnome family," says the post from the Alpaca Gnomes, which describes itself as a "seven-piece original rock/folk band collective that brings musical joy and overall giddiness to all people of all races in all places."
Nicole Heriot Mikula, wife of the band's lead, reached out to friends, family and fans on Facebook.
"Thank you so much for the overwhelmingly and welcomed love and support from everyone," the post said. "Please continue sending prayers and strength to his family."
Fans posted many messages of mourning and sympathy on the band's Facebook page.
"There are not enough hugs in the world to make this hurt less. So glad Marty got to play a great gig in front of all the family before he left us. Love to all Gnomies," said one post.
The Alpaca Gnomes had just played a gig the weekend before at the Infinity Music Hall in Norfolk.
"Heart goes out to Marty's family and all the Gnomes , great guy, great talent. so very sorry to hear of his passing so soon," another post said.
Services have been scheduled for Amidon. Calling hours are 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at the Honan Funeral Home, 58 Main St., Newtown.
Amidon is survived by his wife Victoria (Hooten) Amidon; 4-year-old son Martin Van Buren Amidon X; brother Daniel Amidon; mother Diane (Olsen) Millar and stepfather Gary Millar; and many extended family members, including his Gnome brothers and sister.
He was predeceased by his father, Martin Van Buren Amidon VIII.
"He touched the world with his music and brought smiles to the faces of everyone he met," his obituary said.
In lieu of flowers, his family asked for donations to hungryformusic.org.
The members of the Alpaca Gnomes have also created a fund to help Amidon's family "in this time of need."
"In support of Marty's son and family," Mikula said, make checks payable to Marty's Bass and mail to: Marty's Bass, P.O. Box 665, Newtown CT 06470
Amidon was the driver and the only rider on the motorcycle when it crashed at about 5:25 p.m. April 18, police said.
Amidon, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. He was riding a red and black 2004 Buell XB-125 "street-style" motorcycle, police said.
The Newtown Police Department is asking any witnesses that may have seen the accident or the vehicle operating in the area before the accident to contact Officer Bart Lorancaitis at 203-426-5841.
The crash remains under investigation, police said.
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