Tragedy hits No. 88's Shawn Parker

Shawn Parker lost his wife, Tara Howell Parker, in a tragic car accident Wednesday night. The crew chief for Dale Jarrett had stood by his wife through her heart transplant and the two had recently adopted a son, Jagger, in July of this ...

Shawn Parker lost his wife, Tara Howell Parker, in a tragic car accident Wednesday night. The crew chief for Dale Jarrett had stood by his wife through her heart transplant and the two had recently adopted a son, Jagger, in July of this year.

Parker was named to his new position in May, 2003, and things were finally looking up for the young couple. Prior to being crew chief, Parker was the car chief for the team's No. 38, driven by Elliott Sadler.

Tara Parker, 29, and her two sisters, Megan Howell, 16, and Mysti Howell Poplin, 24, were on their way home after an evening out when the tragic accident occurred.

They were on Interstate 40 in a limousine returning from an evening out when the limo was hit from behind.

The three women were killed when the vehicle they were in was hit by a driver who has previously been charged with three counts of felony death by motor vehicle and driving while impaired.

Robert Yates Racing's spokeswoman for Jarrett, Penny Copen stated that plans were being made to replace Parker for this weekend's Loudon race.

"I can't put into words the grief we feel," Yates said. "We are all in shock right now. All we can do is support Shawn and what he needs to do as well as Tara's family.

"Tara has gone through a lot in the last two years and was really an inspiration to everyone that knew her. Shawn and Tara were new parents and they had a lot of joy in their life. This is absolutely heartbreaking for ... everyone that knew Tara."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Shawn Parker , Robert Yates , Elliott Sadler
Teams Yates Racing