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Laura Lynch, founding member of The Chicks, dies at 65 in Texas car crash

Photo taken in Dallas just before the Dixie Chicks released their album "Shouldn't a Told You That." From left, Emily Erwin, Laura Lynch and Martie Erwin.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram via Getty
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Photo taken in Dallas just before the Dixie Chicks released their album "Shouldn't a Told You That." From left, Emily Erwin, Laura Lynch and Martie Erwin.

Laura Lynch, a founding member of the Dixie Chicks — now known as The Chicks — died Friday in a car crash in El Paso, Texas. She was 65 years old.

The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed Lynch's death in a statement to NPR.

The musician, who played bass and sang with the influential all-women country music band for four years from its inception in 1989, was traveling eastbound on US 62 when her car, a 2016 Ford F-150, was struck head-on by another vehicle. She was pronounced deceased on the scene by a justice of the peace.

The other driver was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Chicks members Emily Strayer, Martie Maguire and Natalie Maines posted a tribute to Lynch on theirInstagram channel, expressing shock and sadness at the news.

"Laura was a bright light. Her infectious energy and humor gave a spark to the early days of our band," it said, "Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones at this sad time."

The department of safety said the investigation is ongoing. The Chicks' representatives did not respond to NPR's request for comment.

Lynch co-founded the group in 1989 with sisters Maguire and Strayer (née Erwin), and left the group after recording three albums in 1993. She was replaced by Maines. Initially the group's bass player, she started singing with the band following the departure of its original vocalist, Robin Lynn Macy, in 1992.

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Chloe Veltman
Chloe Veltman is a correspondent on NPR's Culture Desk.