Inside The Death Of Ex-Nascar Driver John Wes Townley

The following article includes allegations of domestic abuse and violence.

NASCAR driver John Wes Townley has died at the age of 31. And per, the circumstances surrounding Townley's October 2 death are particularly dark.

According to the outlet, Townley formally retired from his professional driving career a few years ago. Throughout his time as a professional driver, which began in 2008 and ended in 2016, Townley competed in 76 races, most of which took place in the Truck Series. His racing career was not particularly successful, however, as he only won one race — a 2015 win at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, per Townley is also notable for his relationship to the fast-food chain Zaxby's, which The Sun notes was started by his father years ago.

However, it appears that Townley was shot and killed in a disturbing incident when he allegedly entered his estranged wife's home with a weapon. 

John Wes Townley's death is still being investigated

According to reports, former NASCAR driver John Wes Townley was shot and killed around 9 p.m. in Athens, Georgia on October 2. Upon entering a house occupied by his estranged wife, Laura, and Zachary Anderson, Townley allegedly brandished a hatchet and "attacked" the two, per the Athens Banner-Herald. Townley was shot by Anderson who reportedly also shot at Laura at the residence by mistake. Townley and the woman were both rushed to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries a short while later, according to the outlet. As of this publication, the police believe Laura will survive.

The police are calling this tragedy a "domestic incident," though noted that it's still "ongoing," according to the Daily Mail. It is thought that the shooter acted in self-defense. Laura and Townley were married in 2018 but filed for divorce earlier this year. Per the Athens Banner-Herald, their divorce had been finalized.

While the world waits for more information to be released, NASCAR reporter Chris Knight remembered him on Twitter. "I knew John Wes Townley since he entered the sport. He always treated me well, said hi, and we checked in with each other once in a while when he left the sport," he wrote, adding, "I am saddened to hear about what happened, and my thoughts and prayers are with all the parties involved."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.