Mike Kennedy, who's best known for the years he spent playing drums for George Strait, was killed in a car accident on Friday (Aug. 31) in Tennessee.

Nashville's Tennessean newspaper reports Kennedy was driving a 1999 GMC headed west on Highway 40 in Lebanon in Wilson County when the accident took place. The vehicle struck a tractor-trailer as it merged into another lane, according to a preliminary report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The tractor-trailer also hit a Chevrolet Silverado after colliding with Kennedy's vehicle. The accident took place just before 4PM.

Kennedy, who has served as the drummer in Strait's Ace in the Hole Band for more than 30 years, was the only person injured in the crash, which caused authorities to block several lanes of traffic for several hours.

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Investigators say Kennedy was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident, but they note that it wouldn't have saved his life in this instance. Tennessee Highway Patrol officials identified Kennedy on Saturday (Sept. 1).

Strait's production manager, Paul Rogers, turned to Twitter to react to the loss, writing. "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."

Kennedy had played with Strait since 1987. His additional credits included Jamey Johnson, Bill Anderson, Ricky Skaggs, Barbara Fairchild and more. No further details were available at press time.

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