David Gilliland Racing’s hauler driver Steven Stotts was pronounced dead on the scene of a major crash on Tuesday, the Longview News-Journal reports. The crash occurred on Interstate 20 in Eastern Texas at about 4 AM as the team headed towards Phoenix for the ARCA race. The hauler ended up flipped onto its side in the median and caught fire, according to Longview, Texas fire marshal Kevin May.
Approaching a 2020 Honda Passport towing a small box trailer, the driver of the truck “failed to control its speed” and “struck” the trailer, according to an accident report released by Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Sgt. Jean Dark. It then flipped onto its side and caught fire. The Passport also rolled over in the median and its trailer “vault[ed] over the concrete barrier into the eastbound lane,” Dark’s report added.
The driver of the Passport and two passengers in the hauler, who also served as co-drivers, were taken to local hospitals in “stable condition,” the Journal Reports.
Sad news from Texas Highway Patrol. DGR hauler driver Steven Stotts was pronounced dead at the scene. Passengers John Zaverl and Michael Mizzelle are in stable condition. Driver of the other vehicle involved is in stable condition. They were taking ARCA car to Phoenix. pic.twitter.com/0fRn9xmtGD
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) March 8, 2022
The highway was closed to traffic for several hours following the incident, with the Texas Department of Transportation classifying it as a “major” incident, before being reopened at 12:01 PM, according to the Journal.
The hauler was carrying DGR Racing’s 17 ARCA racecar, driven by Taylor Gray. The team released a statement following the crash before Stott’s death was announced that read: “DGR and driver Taylor Gray’s participation in Friday’s event will be determined at a later time.”
Following the incident, DGR released a subsequent statement:
“We are deeply saddened to confirm the passing of Steven Stotts, co-driver for our No. 17 ARCA team transporter, that was involved in an accident early this morning near Longview, Texas. Our deepest sympathies go out to Steven’s family and friends. John Zaverl and Michael Mizzelle, who were passengers in the transporter, have been treated and released from a local hospital. Our continued thoughts are with the driver of the second vehicle involved in the accident.”
ARCA also released the following statement:
“We are saddened to learn David Gilliland Racing hauler driver Steven Stotts lost his life in a traffic accident en route to this weekend’s race in Phoenix. The NASCAR and ARCA communities send our thoughts and prayers to Steven’s friends, family, teammates and those individuals injured in this incident during this difficult time.”