Bob Burns, a founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, has died at 64. The drummer, who played on the band’s first two albums, was killed in a car crash.
A Georgia State Patrol spokeswoman said Burns, who was not wearing a seat belt, was killed when his car left the road, striking a mailbox and a tree.
He was alone in the car, and no other cars were involved in the fatal Friday crash. Police are trying to establish if weather was a factor in the accident.
Burns performed alongside singer Ronnie Van Zant, bassist Larry Junstrom and guitarists Gary Rossington and Allen Collins in Skynyd from 1966-74.
Named after their childhood P.E. teacher, Leonard Skinner, the band recorded such songs as "Sweet Home Alabama," "Simple Man" and "Free Bird."
Burns left the band after becoming exhausted by touring, and Artimus Pyle subsequently replaced him as drummer for 1975’s Nuthin’ Fancy album.
He was not aboard the plane that crashed in 1977, killing three of the band’s members, including Van Zant, and disbanding the band until a decade later.
The surviving members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, at which point Burns rejoined the group for a one-off performance.
"Well, today I’m at a loss for words, but I just remember Bob being a funny guy," Rossington said in a message posted on the Lynyrd Skynyrd Facebook page.
"He used to do skits for us and make us laugh all the time, he was hilarious!"
"Ironically, since we played Jacksonville yesterday, Dale, my daughter and I, went by the cemetery to see some of the guys in the band and my parents’ grave sites."
"On the way back, we went by Bob Burns’ old house. It was there in the carport where we used to first start to practice with Skynyrd. My heart goes out to his family."
"God bless him and them in this sad time. He was a great, great drummer."