According to Billboard, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department claims that Harrell, who has been a member of the band since their early days, "was driving west at a high rate of speed in the Nashville suburb of Hermitage when his car clipped a pickup truck driven by [Paul Shoulders Jr.] Police said the pickup then went out of control, struck a guardrail, went down an embankment and overturned. Shoulders was ejected." Shoulders was reportedly not wearing a seat belt. He was 47.
It definitely appears that Harrell was under the influence during the accident -- in fact, he may have been using several substances. Reportedly, he was in possession of Xanax, Oxycodone and Oxymorphone. And this isn't his first brush with the law: In July, he was arrested for a DUI.
This terrible news occurs just a few days after the band had announced a string of summer tour dates with Daughtry and Halestorm. Whether those shows will be affected is unknown at this time. (3 Doors Down posted a brief note on their website, stating simply, "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Paul Howard Shoulders, Jr. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.") As for Harrell's fate, that will become a little more clear on Thursday, when he will appear in court.
Update: On April 22, 3 Doors Down announced that their summer tour will go on as planned. "Out of respect to Paul Howard Shoulders, Jr., and his family, 3 Doors Down has cancelled the band's four scheduled U.S. April/May appearances," the statement read. "They will resume touring May 31 in Moscow, and return to the U.S. for scheduled dates in July."
Photo courtesy SKH Music.