By Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner Guitarist Casey Calvert of the pop-punk band Hawthorne Heights was found dead on the band’s tour bus Saturday...

By Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

Guitarist Casey Calvert of the pop-punk band Hawthorne Heights was found dead on the band’s tour bus Saturday afternoon, Nov. 24, outside the 9:30 Club in Washington DC. He was 26. Hawthorne Heights had just kicked off its “Wintour2007” outing on Nov. 23 on Detroit, MI at the Majestic Theatre.

DC police spokesperson Junis Fletcher told the Cincinnati Post that Calvert was found unconscious on the band’s tour bus and was pronounced dead at the scene. Calvert reportedly had acute asthma and used an inhaler. Police are waiting for autopsy and toxicology results. According to published reports, the group cancelled all remaining shows on the tour, which were scheduled through Dec. 21.

On the band’s website, surviving members Eron Bucciarelli, Michah Carli, Matt Ridenour and JT Woodruff posted: “Today is probably the worst day ever. Its with our deepest regrets that we have to write this. Casey Calvert passed away in his sleep last night. We found out this afternoon before sound-check. We’ve spent the entire day trying to come to grips with this and figure out as much as possible. At this time we’re not sure what exactly happened. Just last night he was joking around with everyone before he went to bed. We can say with absolute certainty that he was not doing anything illegal. Please, out of respect to Casey and his family, don’t contribute or succumb to any gossip you may hear. We don’t want his memory to be tainted in the least. Casey was our best friend. He was quirky and awesome and there will truly be no others like him! His loss is unexplainable. As soon as we know more we will let you know.”

Hawthorne Heights formed in 2001 in Dayton, OH, and the group has two albums under its belt: “The Silence in Black and White” and “If Only You Were Lonely,” which entered the Billboard charts at No. 3.

Calvert is survived by his wife, stepmother, two stepsisters, mother, and father, who was a member of 1960’s band, Gary and the Hornets.

(The image accompanying this story is from BlackPlanet.fr)