William ‘Rowdy’ Harrell Nascar pit crew member and newly wed bride, Blakley killed in Florida Keys collision during honeymoon. Cause of accident unknown.
What made him great may have been his undoing…
William ‘Rowdy’ Harrell, 30, who was a pit crew member for Hendrick Motorsports, was driving with his wife, Blakley, 23, when he veered over the center line on US 1 into oncoming traffic Tuesday night in Lower Matecumbe Key, the Miami Herald reports.
The car slammed head-on into a Ford F-250 pickup truck, instantly killing the couple.
The 62-year-old driver of the other vehicle suffered minor injuries, while his two passengers — a 58-year-old woman from Tennessee and a 62-year-old Florida woman — were critically injured and airlifted to hospitals.
Larger than life
Of note, all parties involved in the collision were wearing their seatbelts, the Miami Herald reported.
Highway authorities are investigating whether alcohol played a role in the cash.
The Concord, N.C.-based Hendrick Motorsports, where Harrell has been a pit crew member for eight seasons, released a statement confirming the couple’s deaths.
‘Our entire team is absolutely devastated at the loss of Rowdy and Blakley,’ Harrell’s crew chief Greg Ives said. ‘They were such positive, giving and passionate people who could not have been a more perfect match.’
Ives remembered Rowdy as an ‘energetic and infectious personality.’
‘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,’ Ives said.
Prior to his NASCAR career, Harrell won three championships as a linebacker for the University of Alabama football team, NBC Sports reported. He had also played football at Hale County High School in Moundville, Alabama.
Authorities continue to investigate.