A former Alabama walk-on football player was killed in a car accident just days after celebrating his marriage.
Rowdy Harrell, a linebacker from 2009-12 from Moundville, died Tuesday night along with his wife while driving in the Florida Keys. Harrell, 30, went on to enjoy success as tire carrier in the NASCAR world working with Hendricks Motorsports.
He and his new bride Blakley were married on Saturday and they were traveling to their honeymoon when the accident occurred. It was a head-on collision on US-1, The Miami Herald reported.
The Hale County High School graduate was part of three national championship teams in 2009, 2011 and 2012 while graduating with a degree in human performance and exercise science.
The auto racing world came calling after graduation and he quickly gained acclaim for his work on the pit crew. He was twice a Xfinity Series champion pit crew member with JR Motorsports.
He was a tire carrier for the past eight seasons, working most recently with Alex Bowman of the No. 88 team of the NASCAR Cup Series.
“Our entire team is absolutely devastated at the loss of Rowdy and Blakley,” said Greg Ives, Harrell’s crew chief for the past six seasons, in a statement released by Hendrick Motorsports. “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.”
Michael Casagrande is a reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @ByCasagrande or on Facebook.