William "Rowdy" Harrell, a NASCAR pit crew member and former linebacker for the University of Alabama, died Tuesday in a car crash with his wife Blakely. He was 30 years old.
The accident that killed Harrell and his spouse happened in Florida as the two were celebrating their honeymoon following their wedding that took place on Saturday.
The 30-year-old worked for Hendrick Motorsports for the last eight seasons as a tire carrier, most recently with the No. 88 NASCAR Cup Series team with Alex Bowman. He also was a NASCAR Xfinity Series champion twice as a pit crew member with JR Motorsports.
Prior to his time with NASCAR, Harrell won three national championships with the University of Alabama as a walk-on middle linebacker. Greg Ives, Harrell's crew chief over the past six seasons, delivered the following statement through Hendrick Motorsports' website.
"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. 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."
Bowman and the Crimson Tide football team offered their condolences on Twitter.
Rowdy was everything that made the 88 team, the 88 team. The biggest personality and the best person. He was the happiest person you’d ever meet, and that was only reenforced by his wife Blakley. Rip to an absolute legend. You’ll be missed every single day brother. pic.twitter.com/ouvflY1M7h— Alex Bowman (@AlexBowman88) November 25, 2020