Chie Cheng, the Deftones bassist who suffered near-fatal injuries in a 2008 car accident, died on Saturday after five years of living in a semi-conscious state. He was 42.

Cheng’s death was announced by his family via the late musician’s fan site, Oneloveforchi.com. In their post, they revealed that on Saturday Cheng had been taken to the emergency room, where he died at 3 a.m. "He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear," wrote Jeanne Marie Cheng. Chino Moreno, Deftones vocalist, confirmed Cheng’s passing on his Facebook page.

In November 2008, Cheng was left in a coma after a tragic car crash in Santa Clara, Calif. He was driving with his sister as a passenger, when his vehicle collided with another car. While his sister was wearing her seatbelt and only suffered minor injuries, Cheng wasn’t and was consequently ejected from the vehicle.

Since the accident, Cheng was reportedly making progress in his recovery. In 2009, it was announced that he was no longer in a coma, but in a semi-conscious state. And in 2010, it was reported that his neurological function was improving. Just recently, Cheng had regained limited ability to move his legs, according to Billboard.

Cheng, Moreno, Stephen Carpenter and Abe Cunningham founded the Deftones in the late 80s. Cheng’s bass skills are heard on the band’s first five albums. He would have been on the sixth, but during the midst of the project, Cheng got into the career-ending crash. The Deftones have released two albums since, with bassist Sergio Vega.

“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 fought the good fight,” wrote Cheng’s mother, Mom J. You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone.”

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