World / Music

Laura Lynch, founding member of the Dixie Chicks, dies in car crash

13:14 pm on 24 December 2023

Laura Lynch during her time with the Dixie Chicks. Photo: YouTube

Laura Lynch, a founding member of the US country band, the Dixie Chicks died in a car crash near the city of El Paso, Texas, according to law enforcement officials.

Lynch was the Dixie Chick's bassist and at one point the main vocalist. She left the group in 1995.

She had co-founded the popular group in 1989 in Dallas along with musicians Robin Lynn Macy and sisters Martie and Emily Erwin.

She died in a 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.

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.

"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Laura Lynch," the band, which renamed itself The Chicks in 2020, wrote 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.

The Chicks praised her "infectious energy and humour" and said in a statement Lynch was "instrumental" to the band's early success.

Originally founded as a bluegrass band, 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.

The Chicks performed concerts in Christchurch and Auckland in October.

Reuters / RNZ