The NASCAR family is mourning one of its own.
Pit crew member William “Rowdy” Harrell and his new wife were killed in a head-on car accident while honeymooning in the Florida Keys on Tuesday night.
Hendrick Motorsports shared the sad news on its website earlier this week, revealing that Harrell, 30, and his bride, Blakley, 23, had tied the knot just three days before their tragic deaths.
“He was the heart and soul of our team.” ❤️ https://t.co/RmbNE3aIZB
— Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) November 25, 2020
The announcement went on to call Harrell a “stand-out tire carrier” and note his eight-season run with Hendrick, which most recently included a position on the team of NASCAR driver Alex Bowman. The late Harrell was also twice named a NASCAR Xfinity Series champion pit crew member during his previous stint with JR Motorsports.
A preliminary report from the Florida Highway Patrol obtained by NBC Sports stated that Harrell’s vehicle crossed the center line of a two-lane highway around 9:40 PM ET and collided with an oncoming pickup truck. The truck’s driver was reportedly treated for minor injuries while two passengers were airlifted from the scene in critical condition. Per NBC Sports, everyone involved in the crash had been wearing seatbelts.
“Our entire team is absolutely devastated at the loss of Rowdy and Blakley. They were such positive, giving and passionate people who could not have been a more perfect match,” Harrell’s crew chief Greg Ives shared in a statement.
“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,” Ives concluded.
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