Tony Stewart’s Racing Driver Dies At 24 In Car Accident Just Months Before Her Wedding Date
Ashlea Albertson was a 24-year-old driver who was part of Tony Stewart’s racing team. According to her father, Todd Albertson, “She just loved racing. She loved the community.” Unfortunately, Todd and his family along with the racing community are mourning Ashlea’s death.
On August 18, 2023, Ashlea and her fiancee, Jake Kelley, were on their way home from a vacation when they were involved in car accident. Jake’s mother, Joy Dossey, shared the sad news on Facebook writing, “Jake has many bumps and bruises. Ashlea unfortunately did not survive her injuries. No words can express how very sad and shocked we all are.” She described Ashlea as “a beautiful soul that could light up a room with her smile.”
Todd shared a video on Facebook the same day as his daughter’s death. In the emotional video, he thanked her fans “for making her feel like she was the best racer out there each and every time that she took the track.” He described her as “a good kid. A better person.”
According to Indiana State Police, the accident occurred on Interstate 65 in Jackson County, Indiana. There were two cars involved in the accident. One was a GMC Terrain, which was driven by Jake. Ashlea was a passenger in this car. The other was a Chevrolet Malibu which was driven by 22-year-old Austin Cooper.
The Indiana State Police reports that the accident was caused by both drivers “accelerating rapidly and refusing to allow the other vehicle to pass on northbound I-65.” When Austin attempted to change lanes, his car collided with Jake’s car. Both Austin and Jake were hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries, but Ashlea did not survive. She was reportedly ejected when the Terrain when it rolled over.
Stewart posted a tribute to Ashlea on X (formerly Twitter). He described her as “a great race car driver.” He added that she “had an infectious personality and could light up any room.” He also used the post as an opportunity to encourage readers and racing fans to “honor Ashlea by controlling what we can control on the highway.”
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… pic.twitter.com/mnvPYeujWf
— Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) August 19, 2023