Billboard -- Deftones bassist Chi Cheng, who was badly injured and has been in a semi-conscious state since a 2008 car accident, died early Saturday morning, his family announced. He was 42.

In a statement posted on the charity site, Cheng's family writes that the musician was taken to the emergency room where he died around 3 a.m.

"He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear," wrote Mom J.

Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno confirmed Cheng's passing on his Facebook page.

Cheng suffered major injuries and was left in a coma following a November 2008 car crash in Santa Clara, Calif. The bassist was driving with his sister when they collided with another car, sending his vehicle rolling. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. His sister was wearing hers, and only sustained minor injuries.

Cheng co-founded Deftones in the late 1980s with fellow Sacramentoans Moreno, Stephen Carpenter and Abe Cunningham. He was an integral part of the nu-metal band's success, performing on their first five albums, the first being 1994's "Adrenaline" and his final release "Saturday Night Wrist" in 2006. After his accident, Cheng was replaced with Sergio Vega, formerly of Quicksand.


This is a developing story... The Cheng family statement is below:

Our dearest Family, This is the hardest thing to write to you. Your love and heart and devotion to Chi was unconditional and amazing. I know that you will always remember him as a giant of a man on stage with a heart for every one of you. He was taken to the emegency room and at 3 am today his heart just suddenly stopped. He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear. He fought the good fight.You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone. I will write more later. I will be going through the oneloveforchi and any other information may not be reliable. If you have any stories or messages to share please send them to the onelove site. Please hold Mae and Ming and the siblings and especially Chi's son, Gabriel in your prayers. It is so hard to let go. With great love and "Much Respect!" Mom J (and Chi)

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