Tony Stewart Racing driver, 24, killed in ‘road rage’ incident on Indiana highway

Tony Stewart Racing TQ Midget driver Ashlea Albertso, 24, was killed in a ‘road rage’ incident on Indiana highway (Twitter/@AshDogRacing )
Tony Stewart Racing TQ Midget driver Ashlea Albertso, 24, was killed in a ‘road rage’ incident on Indiana highway (Twitter/@AshDogRacing )
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An Indianapolis-based racing driver who drove for the Tony Stewart Racing team died in an apparent road rage incident on Friday.

Ashlea Albertson, 24, was a passenger in a 2018 GMC Terrain that crashed around 11.30am on I-65 in Jackson County just south of Seymour, Indiana.

An initial investigation by Indiana State Police revealed the crash happened when the Terrain and a black 2016 Chevrolet Malibu were driving alongside each other, both accelerating and refusing to let each other pass.

The Terrain was being driven by Jacob Kelly, 31, and travelling in the left lane when the Malibu, which was being driven by Austin Cooper, 22, pulled up in the right lane.

Video recorded by someone in another vehicle showed that the two drivers began accelerating rapidly and refused to allow the other vehicle to pass, state plolice said.

The Malibu suddenly changed lanes right into the Terrain’s path and the two vehicles collided, police said. The SUV rolled over and Albertson was ejected.

Both drivers submitted to blood tests and toxicology results are pending, state police said.

Albertson was flown to the University of Louisville Hospital where she died from her injuries. The two drivers and a juvenile passenger in the Malibu were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

The crash is under investigation by the Indiana State Police.

Tony Stewart wrote in a social media post that he had lost a teammate who 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,” Stewart wrote.

“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.”

Albertson’s father Todd Albertson posted an emotional video on Facebook after learning of her passing.

“This is one of the hardest posts that I could possibly make, but I have no words to put it out other than making a video to share with everybody who loved her and that she loved in return,” he says tearfully. “I want to thank you from my family, from myself, for making her feel like she was the best racer out there each and every time that she took the track.

“We appreciate you. We love you. I’m sorry to inform you this way, but it’s only fair that everybody knows and there be no speculation moving forward.

“She was a good kid, a better person. She just loved racing, she loved the community and you all have done so much for her. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Please keep my family, her fiancé, and everybody that is going through this time in your thoughts and prayers.

“Those of you who go to the track this weekend and enjoy racing, please know that’s all she ever wanted to do was put on a show … and be loved and respected by each and everyone of you that followed her. … Enjoy life and every moment that it is. It’s precious. We never know when our time is.”