Jared Sletager, who played in local bands Pregnant and Elphaba, and also helped Adam Paysse co-found Rome Plow Records, passed away Sunday night. He was 29. In October the vehicle he was driving was struck by a drunk driver, putting him in a coma for a number of weeks. "He fought incredibly hard to live," says his friend and bandmate Matt Doctor, "but after many complications his body began to shut down and the decision was made to let him go. He was surrounded by many friends and family at his passing."

Elphaba was a great band, and Jared has been a proud supporter of the local all-ages music scene for many years. It was partly because of them that local label Rome Plow ever existed (and went on to release albums by the Assailant, Helms Alee, Blues and more). In an Underage column in 2006, Paysse said: "I had no intention of starting a label, but after hearing the songs Elphaba had recorded, I just couldn't stand by and let a record that brilliant go unreleased and unappreciated. So I offered to put it out."

Rome Plow has since stopped releasing records, but Paysse is bringing back the label to release a limited vinyl run of Elphaba's last record, a record that the band never got to release themselves. "Jared was particularly proud of the record and sad it was never released," says Matt.

Friends are also organizing benefit shows to help his family cover the costs of the funeral or to donate money to one of Jared's favorite charities. The first one is December 5th at the Black Lodge with Navigator vs. Navigator, Stres, and Happy Birthday Secret Weapon. The others have yet to be confirmed, but I'll definitely post details once they're worked out.

This is an incredibly sad story, and sincere condolences go out to his friends, family, and bandmates.

RIP, Jared.