Chi Cheng, the Deftones bassist and icon of the Sacramento rock music scene, died early Saturday, according to family members.
The 42-year-old member of the Grammy-winning Deftones had been struggling to recover from major injuries suffered in a vehicle accident more than four years ago.
Cheng was in a coma for some time, but had recently shown some signs of improvement, upgrading to a semi-conscious state and being able to move his hands slightly. He was able to move home to continue recovery and therapy.
Cheng was taken to an emergency room about 3 a.m. Saturday, his mother, Jeanne Marie Cheng, wrote on the One Love for Chi website, when his heart stopped.
"He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear," his mother wrote. "He fought the good fight. You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone."
Born Chi Ling Dai Cheng in 1970 in Davis, Cheng joined the Deftones shortly after it formed in 1988. One of the leading acts of the "nu metal" phenomenon, his bass performances can be heard on Deftones classics, such as Adrenaline, Around the Fur and White Pony.
Cheng was a Stockton resident, but the Deftones formed in a garage in South Sacramento before rocketing to fame.
On Nov. 4, 2008, Cheng was the passenger in a car that collided with another vehicle head-on in Santa Clara. Cheng, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the car, leaving him in a coma.
The Deftones continued making music with Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega taking over for Cheng.
Cheng leaves behind a son, Gabriel.
Tributes are pouring in from all over the world on social media, including one from the rock star Rob Zombie.
Locally, a candlelight vigil in honor of Cheng is being planned for 6:30 p.m. tonight at Cesar Chavez Plaza in Sacramento.
Call The Bee's Anne Gonzales, (916) 321-1049. Follow her in Twitter @AnneGonzo .