Former NASCAR star James Hylton and his son James "Tweety" Hylton Jr. were killed in a highway accident early Saturday morning when they drove home from an event in America's automobile racing club.
Franklin County Deputy Coroner Clayton Bryant confirms to the people that the accident occurred on Interstate 85 in Georgia while the father and son, along with a driver, return from a Friday race at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway. Their GMC truck and trailer "left the road and made an impression with a tributary bank on average," NASCAR said.
Both Hylton Sr., 83, and Hylton Jr., 61
In conversation with The Roanoke Times former wife of Hylton Sr., Evelyn Hylton, he discussed the former couple's only son.
"He was very pure, he did not smoke or drink or anything," she told the outlet. "He was a very good person, everyone loved him."
She added, "He was a schoolteacher, and James persuaded him to stop and ride with him."
Evelyn told The Roanoke Times that she had talked to her The boy was phoning around midnight when he said they were taking to the streets after eating in a restaurant in Alabama.
On Saturday morning, a policeman came to her home to inform her about the accident.
"[The officer] Terry said … told them that he thought James had a heart attack and he looked over at him and lost control of the truck and crossed the median and then across the other lane of traffic and hit an embankment, "Evelyn told the newspaper. "The truck carrying a big trailer with a racing car on it, thousands of pounds, you have to be really careful."
"James Hylton is competitive, dedicated, passionate and durable in motorsport for six decades, and Hylton won the rookie of the year at NASCAR's highest level, the 1972 Talladega Superspeedway race, and regularly fought in the early years of his career Championships, "said NASCAR, which also owns ARCA, in a statement. "His racing influence continued in the ARCA series, where he started as a driver and most recently as a car owner.We have lost a truly special member of the racing family and are a beloved personality among generations of competitors and racing fans.We speak to the Hylton family of our deepest Condolences on the tragic loss of James Hylton and his son James Jr. Off. "
Many NASCAR stars and fans have expressed their condolences on social media.
"Thoughts and Prayers to Hylton Family and Friends," Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrote on Twitter. "James was a legend, enjoying his time in stock car racing and seeing the sport evolve and grow over the decades."
Driver Jimmie Johnson said, "I think of the friends and family of James Hylton James was a real racing driver and loved this sport so much, it was an honor to meet him a few times over the years, he will be missed. "