Former Alabama player Rowdy Harrell, wife killed in car crash while on honeymoon
We have some terrible news to pass along. Former Alabama football player William “Rowdy” Harrell has passed away. He and his wife were in a car accident while on their honeymoon.
Harrell and his wife have been identified as the couple involved in a head-on collision around 9:40 p.m. Tuesday at mile marker 76 on U.S. 1 on Lower Matecumbe Key, the stretch of U.S. 1 known as the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys.
The Florida Highway Patrol report, per David Goohue of the Miami Herald:
A 30-year-old North Carolina man was driving a 2020 Toyota Corolla north on the two-lane highway when he crossed into the southbound lane in the path of a 2013 Ford F-250 pickup truck driven by a 62-year-old man from Tennessee.
The pickup truck driver unsuccessfully tried to avoid hitting the Corolla by driving onto the shoulder of the road, but the left front of the Toyota hit the front of the Ford.
Harrell was a walk-on linebacker at Alabama from 2009-12, a Crimson Tide run that included three national championships.
The official Twitter account for Alabama football tweeted a statement remembering Harrell:
Rowdy Harrell was a wonderful teammate and friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this devastating time.
Roll Tide, Rowdy
He was most recently a tire carrier for Alex Bowman’s pit crew. Hendrick Motor Sports released a statement:
“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.
“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 past 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.’ “