Ashlea Albertson, a TQ Midget car racer for Tony Stewart Racing, died Friday (August 18) morning from injuries sustained in a "road rage" incident on Interstate 65, according to team owner and Hall of Fame driver Tony Stewart.
"Today, I lost a teammate. @AshDogRacing 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. Please join me in keeping her family and friends in your prayers," Stewart wrote in a post shared on his X account.
The initial investigation conducted by Indiana State Police found that Albertson was involved in a crash in which two vehicles accelerated rapidly and refused to allow the other to pass on the highway, the Indianapolis Star reports. The 24-year-old was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by Jacob Kelly, 31, at the time of the crash.
Austin Cooper, 22, was identified as the driver of the other vehicle, which was in the right lane before change lanes into Kelly's vehicle. The two cars collided in the middle northbound lanes and Albertson was thrown from Kelly's vehicle as it rolled, Indiana State Police said.
Albertson and Kelly were both airlifted to the University of Louisville Hospital where Albertson was pronounced dead and Kelly received treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. Cooper and a juvenile passenger were taken to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, Indiana, and received treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.
Toxicology tests for both drivers involved in the crash are pending, according to Indiana State Police.
Albertson made her final TQ Midget car racing appearance at Circle City Raceway in Indianapolis on August 11, finishing seventh, according to TheThirdTurn.com.