New Smyrna Speedway employee dies after fight between race teams

Russell Crews was 59 years old

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – An employee at the New Smyrna Speedway died at AdventHealth from a medical episode after a reported fight between two race teams at the track, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said 59-year-old Russell Crews was pronounced dead around 2 a.m. on Sunday at the AdventHealth in New Smyrna Beach.

Preliminary autopsy results indicate a “cardiac event” caused Crews’ death, according to the sheriff’s office. Investigators said there are no criminal charges pending, but the case remains open until the final autopsy report is ready.

Deputies said investigators responded to the New Smyrna Speedway around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday after a call of a large fight between two race teams.

The altercation involved more than a dozen people, according to deputies.

Racing reporter Matt Weaver said Crews died after he attempted to break up a second fight between two teams.

Witnesses at the scene said Crews went to disperse the crowd and he became involved in the altercation.

Deputies said after the crowds separated Crews sat down and started to have a medical episode.

Investigators said a witness started to perform CPR on Crews before first responders arrived.

Last night we lost our long time friend, Rusty Crews. While numerous sources have addressed the events and details...

Posted by New Smyrna Speedway on Sunday, February 7, 2021

Crews was rushed to AdventHealth.

He died around 2 a.m. at the hospital.

The sheriff’s office said there is no evidence at this time with a direct link between Crews’ death and any specific action from the fight.

No other injures were reported.

“Rusty was a true friend, always looked out for others at the racetrack, and loved racing. I can’t describe how terrible this loss is,” Speedway owner Robert Hart said.

Officials with the track said they will continue to work with the sheriff’s office.

“He was a fun individual to be around, always very thoughtful,” Crews’ friend Mario Gosselin said.