LEBANON, TN (WSMV) - Michael Kennedy, George Strait's drummer, died in a crash on I-40W in Wilson County, according to officials with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
The crash occurred at mile-marker 238 near I-840 around 3:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.
Kennedy, 59, drummed in Strait's Ace in the Hole Band for more than 20 years. Before that, he played with Ricky Skaggs and Barbara Fairchild.
"The heart beat of our band is gone," Strait's Production Manager Paul Rogers said on Twitter. "Not sure how we will get back on stage without him. But we must. Much love and respect my dear friend Mike Kennedy."
According to the THP's crash report, three cars were involved in the crash.
Officials say Kennedy was traveling westbound in his 1999 GMC Sierra in the left lane. He then merged into right lane and collided with a tractor-trailer carrying building supplies and then crashed into a Chevrolet pick-up truck.
Kennedy was not wearing a seat belt, but officials said that would not have affected the outcome of the crash.
The other two drivers were not injured.
The heart beat of our band is gone. Not sure how we will get back on stage without him. But we must. Much love and respect my dear friend Mike Kennedy.— Paul Rogers (@PAULDROGERZ) September 1, 2018
Make sure every time you depart company with friends or loved ones that you leave them with good feelings in their heart.— Paul Rogers (@PAULDROGERZ) September 1, 2018
One of my greatest honors was to perform with the texasjammband and the amazing drummer for George Strait, Mike Kennedy. Just learned he was taken from us in a tragic car crash yesterday.… https://t.co/1Cjsyguy2a— Haydn Vitera (@haydnvitera) September 1, 2018
#THPTrafficAlert @THPNashville is investigating a fatal crash on I 40 WB near the 238 MM. The investigation is still ongoing at this time. Expect delays and seek alternate route. @wilsonsheriff @wilsonema @LebanonFire @LebanonPD pic.twitter.com/gunRxuz7Ok— THPNashville (@THPNashville) August 31, 2018
I-40 west CLOSED between mm238/239 due to crash. Expect long delay & Be Prepared to Stop! Est clear 5:30pm https://t.co/0WmZeCmvf9— Wilson County EMA (@wilsonema) August 31, 2018