Laura Lynch, a founding member of the U.S. country band The Chicks, died in a head-on car crash on a Texas highway, law enforcement officials said on Saturday.
“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Laura Lynch,” the band, known as the Dixie Chicks until 2020, wrote in a statement on social media.
“Laura was a bright light — her infectious energy and humour gave a spark to the early days of our band,” the band said in the statement.
Lynch, who co-founded the popular group in 1989 in Dallas along with musicians Robin Lynn Macy and sisters Martie and Emily Erwin, died in the head-on collision on a highway outside of El Paso on Friday, the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement.
Lynch, 65, was at the wheel of her vehicle driving eastbound on US 62 outside of the city of El Paso when another car travelling in the opposite direction attempted to pass a vehicle on a two-way undivided portion of the highway.
2/2 Her undeniable talents helped propel us beyond busking on street corners to stages all across Texas and the mid-West.<br><br>Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones at this sad time.<br><br>- Emily, Martie & Natalie
It crashed into Lynch’s Ford truck, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.
The Chicks said in its statement that Lynch was “instrumental” to the band’s early success.
Lynch was the band’s bassist and at one point the main vocalist. She left the group in 1995.
Originally founded as a bluegrass band, the Dixie Chicks released their major label debut Wide Open Spaces in 1998, selling “more CDs than all other country music groups combined,” and earning their first Grammy Award, according to the awards’ website.