Race Car Driver Tragically Killed in Road Rage Incident

Ashlea Albertson, a 24-year-old race car driver from Indiana, tragically lost her life in a road rage incident last week. Albertson, a member of NASCAR legend Tony Stewart’s All-Star Circuit of Champions TQ Midget Series team, was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a two-car crash on I-65 in Jackson County, near Seymour. The promising young racer was returning from a vacation and was less than a year away from her wedding.

The Indiana State Police responded to the crash just before noon last Friday. According to investigators, a video recorded by a witness in another vehicle was instrumental in establishing the sequence of events. The video showed that 22-year-old Austin Cooper, driving a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu with a child passenger, and 31-year-old Jacob Kelly, in a 2018 GMC Terrain with Albertson as a passenger, collided after both vehicles accelerated rapidly and refused to let the other pass.

The crash occurred when Cooper’s car veered into Kelly’s lane, causing Kelly and Albertson’s vehicle to spin out and collide with Cooper’s car. The impact ejected Albertson from the GMC Terrain, resulting in fatal injuries in a roll-over crash. Cooper’s Chevy Malibu ended up off the interstate in a field.

Both Kelly and Albertson were airlifted to the University of Louisville Hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, Albertson was pronounced dead upon arrival. Kelly was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Cooper and the juvenile passenger were transported to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, Indiana, where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing, and both male drivers have submitted to blood draws. Toxicology reports are pending, and depending on the results, charges could range from operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death to reckless homicide or criminal recklessness. Lesser misdemeanor charges like reckless driving or aggressive driving could also apply.

The tragic incident has sparked a wave of mourning from Albertson’s family and the racing community. Albertson’s father, Todd Albertson, announced his daughter’s death in a video posted to her racing page, thanking her supporters for making her feel like the best racer every time she took the track. Tony Stewart also expressed his grief over the loss of his teammate, urging everyone to remember the fragility of life and to avoid road rage.

Albertson’s fiancé, Jacob Kelly, and his mother, Joy Dossey, also shared their grief. Dossey described Albertson as a “beautiful soul” and expressed the family’s shock and sadness over the tragic incident. Albertson and Kelly were set to be married on March 24 in Bloomington.