24 year old Ashlea Albertson has passed following a highway crash; Tony Stewart issues statement
Tragedy has struck the racing world.
Ashlea Albertson raced dirt cars for Tony Stewart Racing. She has two wins in the All-Star Circuit of Champions TQ Midget Series including one earlier this season.
Albertson and her fiance Jake Kelly were involved in a highway crash on I-65 on Friday. The couple were returning from a vacation in the Gulf Shores.
According a police report, the two vehicles sped up in an apparent road rage incident. Austin Cooper changed lanes and the two cars collided. A 2018 GMC Terrain driven by Kelly began rolling across the highway.
Four people were transported to a hospital following the crash. Albertson has since passed due to injuries.
She was 24 years old.
“Today, August 18, 2023, at approximately 11:30 am, Troopers from the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post began investigating a two-vehicle fatal crash that occurred on I-65 Northbound, just south of Seymour in Jackson County.”
“The initial investigation indicated that a black 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, being driven by Austin Cooper, age 22, Austin, Indiana was traveling northbound in the right lane of I-65 near the 48 mile marker. A white 2018 GMC Terrain, being driven by Jacob Kelly, age 31, Indianapolis, Indiana was traveling northbound in the left lane of I-65 at the same location. Evidence from the scene, including video footage captured by another vehicle, indicated that the two drivers began accelerating rapidly and refused to allow the other vehicle to pass.”
“Cooper’s vehicle then began to change lanes into the path of Kelly’s vehicle. Jacob Kelly lost control of his vehicle and spun, which resulted in the two vehicles colliding in the middle of the northbound lanes. Kelly’s vehicle rolled, which resulted in a female passenger, Ashlea Albertson, age 24, Greenfield, Indiana being ejected from the vehicle. Cooper’s vehicle left the east side of the roadway and came to rest in a field.”
“Kelly and Albertson were both flown from the scene to University of Louisville Hospital for treatment. After arriving at the hospital, Albertson was pronounced deceased. Kelly was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Cooper and a juvenile passenger were transported to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, Indiana where they were both treated for non-life-threatening injuries.”
“Both drivers in the crash submitted to blood tests. Toxicology results are pending at this time.”
“The investigation remains ongoing by Troopers from the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post and the Indiana State Police Crash Reconstruction Team. At the conclusion of the investigation, the case will be presented to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for review for possible charges.”
“Ashlea Albertson’s family has been notified.”
“The northbound lanes of I-65 were closed for approximately three hours for crash investigation and cleanup.”
“The Indiana State Police was assisted by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Seymour Police Department, Seymour Fire Department, Jackson County EMS, Howard’s Wrecker Service, and 31 Wrecker Service.”
Family of Jake Kelly comments
It is with a very heavy heart that I make this post,” Joy Dorsey opened via social media.
“My son Jake Kelly and his fiance Ashlea Albertson were in a horrible car accident yesterday on their way home from a vacation. Jake has many bumps and bruises. Ashlea unfortunately did not survive her injuries.”
“No words can express how very sad and shocked we all are. Ashlea was a beautiful soul that could light up a room with her smile and her hugs were some of the best! We are already missing her. We love you.”
“Please pray for my family and Ashlea’s during this difficult time. Give Jake some grace as he is trying to respond to all the messages, he is overwhelmed.”
Tony Stewart comments
Albertson recently beat Tony Stewart in a TQ Midget Series event. Stewart is the owner of the series.
“Today, I lost a teammate,” Tony Stewart opened via social media.
“Ashlea Albertson had an infectious personality and could light up any room. She was a great race car driver that was involved in a road rage accident and lost her life.”
“In the past, I’ve also gotten caught up in road rage.I hope that we can honor Ashlea by controlling what we can control on the highway. Losing her is a sobering reminder of how precious life is.”
Stewart concluded, “Please join me in keeping her family and friends in your prayers.”