Sad News: 24-year-old driver for Tony Stewart Racing dies in interstate-highway crash

Sad News: 24-year-old driver for Tony Stewart Racing dies in interstate-highway crash

A 24-year-old Tony Stewart Racing driver died on Friday after being catapulted from her car on an Indiana roadway.

Ashlea Albertson was a passenger in one of two vehicles involved in the collision, which happened around 11:30 a.m. on northbound Interstate 65 in Jackson County, about an hour south of Indianapolis, according to an Indiana State Police Facebook post on Friday.

Albertson was a driver for Tony Stewart Racing, founded by the three-time NASCAR champion in 2000. Albertson was a member of the All Star Circuit of Champions TQ Midgets and last competed in Indianapolis a week before her death, according to racing statistics.

According to the state police, on Friday, a 22-year-old was driving a Chevrolet Malibu in the right lane of I-65 and a 31-year-old was driving a GMC Terrain in the left lane. Albertson was a passenger in the Terrain, according to authorities.

Police say evidence from the accident, including video, showed that the “two drivers began accelerating rapidly and refused to allow the other vehicle to pass.”

When the Malibu began to enter the Terrain’s lane, the Terrain’s driver lost control, and the two cars collided. Albertson was ejected from the automobile when it rolled, according to authorities.

Albertson was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. All of the other people involved, including the two drivers and a juvenile passenger in the Malibu, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at nearby hospitals, according to authorities.

In a Facebook post, Stewart praised Albertson for his “infectious personality” his ability to brighten any space.

“She was a great race car driver that was involved in a road rage accident and lost her life,” according to Stewart. “In the past, I’ve also gotten caught up in road rage.”

Police have not confirmed the incident involved road rage.

Stewart, who retired from NASCAR in 2016, was fined $30,000 by the stock car racing circuit and placed on probation between 2001 and 2002 for several outbursts of rage. These included bumping Jeff Gordon’s car on pit road during a race, knocking a tape recorder out of a reporter’s hand, and striking a camera.

Ashlea’s father, Todd Albertson, posted a video on her Facebook racing account alerting followers of her passing. “She was a good kid, a better person, and she just loved racing, she loved the community,” Todd stated in the video.

Police said Friday that toxicology results were still pending.

CNN has reached out to police for further comment but has not heard back.

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