‘Road-rage’ crash kills race car driver who was engaged to be married, Indiana cops say

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A 24-year-old race car driver who was a member of Tony Stewart’s racing team was killed in an apparent “road rage” crash, Indiana State Police say.

Ashlea Albertson, of Greenfield, Indiana, was a passenger in a GMC Terrain involved in the Friday, Aug. 18, crash on Interstate 65 in Jackson County, according to Indiana State Police.

The driver of the Terrain and of a Chevrolet Malibu were shown “accelerating rapidly” and refusing to allow the other vehicle to pass, state police said. The two vehicles eventually collided, and Albertson was ejected from the Terrain.

She was pronounced dead at University of Louisville Hospital, according to state police.

“She was a good kid (and) a better person,” her father, Todd Albertson, said in a video posted on Facebook. “She just loved racing, she loved the community and you all have done so much for her.”

Albertson’s fiancé was driving the Terrain, and the crash happened as they were driving home from a vacation, according to a social media post from family.

The couple were planning a March 2024 wedding.

Stewart, the NASCAR Hall of Famer whom Albertson raced for, urged people to control their emotions better on the roadway.

“In the past, I’ve also gotten caught up in road rage,” Stewart said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “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.”

He called Albertson “a great race car driver” who had an “infectious personality.”

The Greenfield Reporter said in a 2021 article Albertson “got hooked on racing at an early age.” Her siblings served on her pit crew, the publication reported.

Albertson won two races in the All-Star Circuit of Champions TQ Midget Series, according to Racing News, who reported she recently beat Stewart in a race.

In the series, owned by Stewart, racers compete on dirt tracks.

“I like to drive in the dirt,” she told the Greenfield Reporter. “The sliding is the best feeling ever. There’s nothing like it.”

Circle City Raceway, the Indianapolis track where Albertson would often race, said she “always had a smile on her face and time for her fans.”

“You were beyond gracious to the kids who were interested in you and your car,” said Ison’s Family Pizza, one of Albertson’s sponsors. “You were an amazing role model for young girls. Ashdog, you will always be our driver.”

She was honored in Shelbyville, Indiana, Saturday during an event she was scheduled to race in, according to WXIN and WTHR.

Pictures shared on social media show Albertson’s No. 4 race car on display at the speedway as fans and loved ones paid tribute to her.

“I’m going to think about Ashlea every time I think I’m going to have road rage,” team manager Rom Combs told WTHR. “Ashlea will be in the back of my head. Stop, slow down and do what’s right.”

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