Two-time NASCAR Cup Series Winner James Hylton, Son Killed in Highway Accident

Former NASCAR driver James Hylton, the 1966 Rookie of the Year, was killed in a traffic accident Saturday, authorities said. He was 83.

Hylton and his son, 61-year-old James Hylton Jr., died at the scene of the crash, which happened on Interstate 85 in Carnesville a little after 6 a.m., according to the Georgia State Patrol. Both were from Inman, South Carolina.

Investigators said the vehicle traveled off the left side of the road and hit an embankment, killing two passengers and leaving the driver severely injured.

Franklin County Deputy Coroner Clayton Bryant said the three men had to be extricated from the GMC truck, which was pulling a trailer carrying a race car and other equipment.

The three were returning to South Carolina after Friday’s ARCA Series race at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway, as Hylton Sr. still owned a team that competed in the series.

The truck driver’s name was not released. Bryant said he was transported to a hospital in Greenville, South Carolina, for treatment of injuries that included several broken bones. Franklin County borders South Carolina.

No other vehicles were involved in the wreck. The State Patrol said it still was investigating and had not determined whether to cite the driver.

The elder Hylton started 602 races in the Cup series and won two races in a career that began in 1964. He finished second in the points standings three times.

“Racing competitively in parts of six decades, James Hylton’s dedication, passion and longevity in motorsports is virtually unmatched. Hylton won the rookie of the year at NASCAR’s highest level, the 1972 race at Talladega Superspeedway and regularly contended for championships during the early years of his career,” NASCAR, which also owns ARCA, said in a statement. “His racing influence continued into the ARCA series, where he competed as a driver and, most recently, a car owner. We have lost a truly special member of the racing family and a beloved figure among generations of competitors and race fans alike. We extend our deepest condolences to the Hylton family on the tragic loss of James Hylton and his son James Jr.”

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