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Newlyweds Die on Florida Honeymoon

William and Blakley Harrell were driving on Lower Matecumbe Key
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2020 10:51 AM CST

(Newser) – A horrific car crash in Florida took the life of a NASCAR crew member and his new bride this week—who were on their honeymoon, no less. William "Rowdy" Harrell, 30, and his 23-year-old wife Blakley were driving Wednesday on US 1 on Lower Matecumbe Key when their Toyota Corolla went over the center lane and hit a Ford pickup head-on, the Miami Herald reports. The Florida Highway Patrol says the pickup driver tried to avoid them by going on the shoulder, but it was impossible. The Harrells died on the scene, while the pickup driver, an unidentified man from Tennessee, was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. His two passengers were flown to hospitals with critical injuries. Everyone involved was wearing a seatbelt, and the FHP is looking into whether alcohol was involved.

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"Our entire team is absolutely devastated at the loss of Rowdy and Blakley," said Greg Ives, the crew chief at Hendrick Motorsports, where Harrell was a tire carrier. "They were such positive, giving and passionate people who could not have been a more perfect match." NBC Sports reports that Jacob Conley, a fueler for the team, wrote on Facebook that "life is such a fragile thing. ... You never know when you've given someone the last hug or sent them the last text or cracked your last beer with them. The hauler will be a little quieter on race day." Fox News notes that Harrell was a linebacker on three University of Alabama championship football teams. At his high school in Moundville, Alabama, the road leading to the stadium was previously named Rowdy Harrell Way. (Read more car accident stories.)

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