A Nascar pit crew member and his new wife were tragically killed on Tuesday night while on their honeymoon in the Florida keys.
The Miami Herald reported that William “Rowdy” Harrell, 30, who was a pit crew member for Hendrick Motorsports, was driving with his 23 year-old wife Blakley when he veered over the center line on US 1 into oncoming traffic. Their vehicle proceeded to slam head-on into Ford F-250 pickup truck, killing the couple, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Though the 62 year-old driver of the pickup truck was left with only minor injuries, his two passengers — a 58-year-old woman from Tennessee and a 62-year-old Florida woman — were critically injured and had to be airlifted to hospitals. Police say that everyone involved in this crash were wearing seatbelts at the time. They are still investigating whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.
Harrell spent eight seasons working as a pit crew member for Hendrick Motorsports, which released a brief statement honoring him after his death.
“Today, Hendrick Motorsports learned that team member William ‘Rowdy’ Harrell and his wife, Blakley, were tragically killed in an automobile accident in Florida last night. The newlyweds were traveling to celebrate their honeymoon after being married on Saturday,” the statement read. “Harrell, 30, was a stand-out tire carrier for Hendrick Motorsports for the last eight seasons, most recently with the No. 88 NASCAR Cup Series team of driver Alex Bowman. He was also a two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion pit crew member with JR Motorsports.
“Our entire team is absolutely devastated at the loss of Rowdy and Blakley,” said Greg Ives, who was Harrell’s crew chief for the last six seasons. “They were such positive, giving and passionate people who could not have been a more perfect match. Rowdy had an energetic and infectious personality. He was the heart and soul of our team and always kept us motivated, no matter the circumstance. Rowdy shared his love with the people around him and was loved in return. Although he will be greatly missed, his memory will continue to inspire us always. Our prayers are with Rowdy, Blakley and their wonderful family.”
Prior to working with NASCAR, Harrell won three national championships as a walk-on middle linebacker for the University of Alabama football team.