Erik Finkel was having a rocking night at the Napa Battle of the Bands, round two, Saturday at the Rutherford Grange.
Finkel was near the front of the crowd as singer-songwriter , a popular barista at and leader of the Napa band KVD, was about to begin her set around 10:30 p.m.
Then, unexpectedly, stage manager Serf Barnabei led a man in a yellow slicker to the microphone.
The stranger was a tow-truck operator and the message he delivered, blinking in the stage lights, was bad news: A motorist had sideswiped several cars parked along the Highway 29 shoulder outside the Grange, one of them a white Dodge van Finkel knew at once was his.
That put an end to Finkel's night of rock and roll -- and to his van, which he said was totaled by the damage.
But if his timing had been different, the collision could have been much more serious, Finkel said:
“Just a half hour before that, I went my car to get my energy drink, “ Finkel wrote on the Napa Patch Facebook page after the crash.
“Glad I didn't get it later. I would have been seriously hurt,” continued Finkel, an American Canyon music lover who is a zealous supporter of the Battle of the Bands.
A check of the CHP traffic incident information website after the collision indicated the driver of a Honda sedan had fallen asleep at the wheel while heading north on Highway 29 at about 10:20 p.m.
No further information on the crash was available Sunday night.
Fan-selected finalists from the two preliminary rounds of the Napa Battle of the Bands 2011 will play a final round at the Dec. 3, with a panel of celebrity judges determining the winners.
The finalists are , On3, , The Radio Effect, The Subtones, and Us As A Nation, according to the Napa Battle of the Bands 2011 Facebook page.