Harrell family benefit fish fry Saturday

harrell family

Stormie Harrell, 7 (front), and Sidney Michaela Dowdy, 17 (second from right), were killed in a car crash May 6 in Pace. (GoFundMe)

HOLT, Fla., May 10, 2018–Sherry’s Diner will host a fish fry Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. to support the Harrell family following Sunday’s tragic traffic accident in Santa Rosa County.

Two members of the Harrell family were killed in a head-on collision on Woodbine Road in Pace caused by a driver who appeared to be driving under the influence.

Members of the Harrell family work on racing weekends at Holt’s Emerald Coast Dragway.

Sherry Cregger, owner of Sherry’s Diner here, is also the food vender at the dragway and knows the Harrell family.

All proceeds from Saturday’s fish fry will go toward to the Harrell family to help with medical, funeral and other costs associated with the crash.

“One hundred percent of all proceeds from the mullet will go to the family,” said Cregger.

That includes any mullet sold from the menu inside the diner on Saturday as well.

“Any mullet dinner we do Saturday will be donated to the family,” she said.

Sunday’s tragedy

Sunday’s traffic accident took the lives of the Harrell’s two daughters, 17-year-old Sidney Michaela Dowdy and 7-year-old Stormie Harrell.

Two other occupants of the car, Melanie Harrell, the mother who was driving, and 18-year-old McKenzie Murphy, a family friend, were seriously injured.

Harrell’s car was in the center turn lane northbound on Woodbine Road when a Ford F-150 truck, traveling southbound at a high rate of speed, crashed into the right front of the car.

Sidney Dowdy, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was killed in the crash. Stormie Harrell later died of her injuries at the hospital.

Melanie Harrell and McKenzie Murphy were injured.


Kailen Alan Kelly

The driver of the truck, Kailen Alan Kelly, 35, of Pace, suffered minor injuries when his truck flipped on its side, coming to a stop in a ditch where the cab caught fire.

Kelly was pulled from the truck before it burst into flames, but not before law enforcement officers noticed a case of beer in the cab.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol arrest report, Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Cribb estimated Kelly’s speed at 80 mph or higher.

A blood sample given under a search warrant determined Kelly’s blood alcohol concentration to be .149 percent according to the arrest report. The legal limit in all 50 states is .08 percent.

Kelly has been charged with two counts of DUI manslaughter, two counts of DUI serious bodily injury, two counts of vehicular manslaughter and two counts of reckless driving, all felony charges.

Family support

Saturday’s fish fry, featuring mullet, begins at 10 a.m. at the diner on U.S. 90 in Holt.  Side dishes include coleslaw, baked beans and hushpuppies.

In addition to Saturday’s fish fry, the Emerald Coast Dragway has set up a GoFundMe site to help raise money for the Harrell family.

Additionally, the dragway is donating 50 percent of its proceeds from next Saturday’s Pro Mod race, after race purse payout and expenses, to the family.

East River Smoke House is also donating 1,000 barbecue sandwich plates with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the family at the May 19 race.

Stephanie Holcombe


One thought on “Harrell family benefit fish fry Saturday

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s