Blake Shelton releases statement honoring six teens killed in car crash

Blake Shelton performing in concert
Blake Shelton performing in concert. Pic credit: ©

Blake Shelton is not a stranger to tragedy when it comes to car accidents.

In 1990, Blake’s 24-year-old brother Richie died in a car accident. This happened when his girlfriend drove over a hill and smashed into a school bus picking up children in Ada, Oklahoma.

Richie, his girlfriend Redena McManus, 20, and their three-year-old son all died in the accident.

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When Blake heard the news of another audio accident that took place in his hometown of Tishomingo on Tuesday, he had to reach out.

Blake Shelton releases statement over accident

On Tuesday, March 22, six high school girls in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, were involved in a car accident that ended with all the girls passing away.

The girls were struck at an intersection by a semi-truck. According to the reports, the car with the girls came to a “rolling stop” at the intersection, and the truck hit the car, sending it off the roadway.

The girls who died included a 16-year-old driver, three 15-year-olds, and a 17-year-old. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said only the two girls in the front seat were wearing seat belts.

Five of the six girls were originally from Tishomingo.

Blake Shelton’s ranch is in Tishomingo, Oklahoma.

“In the wake of yesterday’s unthinkable crash in our small town of Tishomingo, we as a community have all been in shock and broken-hearted. I personally know the devastation of suddenly losing a loved one in a car accident,” Shelton said.

“But our community is strong and has come together to support and wrap our arms around the families and friends that are hurting the most. There’s no question it will take a long time to heal from this tragedy. Keep the prayers coming.”

Blake Shelton starting his life as a stepfather

When Blake’s brother died, the future country music chart-topper was only 14. He was close to him and often said that he learned how to be a stepfather by watching how his own dad treated Richie, who was his stepson.

When Richie died, Blake was too young to really comprehend it, and he said in an interview with 60 Minutes in 2014 that he suffered a lot after his death.

“I remember picking up the phone to call him a week after he was dead, to tell him something,” Shelton recalled at the time. “I was picking up the phone to call him, to tell him something I just saw on TV or, and it was like constantly a shock to me that he was dead.”

Over 30 years later, Blake is still using his brother’s memories to lead his own life.

“[My dad] took Richie on and raised him from the time he was 1-year-old, and my brother never thought of my dad as anything other than his dad,” Blake said.

Blake took what his dad did with Richie and used it as the guidelines for how he relates to Gwen’s kids.

“Every day, I fall in love with the boys as much as I do with Gwen,” Blake said.

The Voice is on hiatus. The singing reality competition series will return to NBC in late 2022.

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