Williams-Dunning was driving on Highway 79 in Henry County, which is about 100 west of Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday night. Her husband, Tyler Dunning, 29, with whom she shares two children, was in the passenger seat. He was airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. His condition is not yet known.
The granddaughter of icon Hank Williams was driving her 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe, which was towing a boat, at 7:44 p.m. local time near Antioch Road when the vehicle crossed the median in the center of the highway, causing the car to roll over, cross through the northbound lanes of Highway 79, and come to a halt on the shoulder of the road.
“This is an active investigation and more details will be made available later,” Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman Lieutenant Brad Wilbanks said.
Williams-Dunning’s brother, Sam Williams, shared a message on his Facebook page about the crash. He wrote, “My sister and brother in law have been In a terrible accident. Please pray for them so hard! Katie Williams and Tyler Dunning.”
Their father, Hank Williams Jr., 71, a Grammy Award-winning artist known for hit songs such as “Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound,” “Born to Boogie,” and “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,” which later version became the theme song for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”
Williams-Dunning’s mother is Mary Jane Thomas, Hank Jr.’s third wife. They married in 1990 and are still together. Hank Jr. has a total of five children from his previous marriages to Becky White and Gwen Yeargain.
Here’s what you need to know about Katherine Williams-Dunning:
Williams-Dunning & Her Husband Tyler Have a Young Son & Daughter
Williams-Dunning is the only one of Hank Jr.’s children not to pursue a career in music. She lived a quiet life married to husband Tyler, with whom she shared a son and a daughter, Beau, and Audrey. A proud mom, Williams-Dunning posted numerous photos of her family on Instagram.
During a family trip in January, she shared a photo of her husband and kids with the caption, “This weekend was full of love and making memories with so many. I am at a loss of words for all of the weekend’s tragedies. I am hoping to continue to strive to be more present in each and every moment. This life is short and there’s so much love to show and spread. So be kind to yourself and to others because we really never know.”
Williams-Dunning was Incredibly Close With Her Younger Brother Sam Williams
Williams-Dunning and her brother Sam Williams, the youngest of Hank Jr.’s five children, share the same mother. Two weeks before her sudden death, Williams-Dunning shared a special tribute post to her baby brother on Instagram. She wrote, “Happy Birthday to @samwillivms! The best brother in the whole world! He has always been there for me when I needed him the most and I am so blessed to not only have a brother but such a good friend! It is amazing to watch you grow and put your mark on this world, keep up the good work!”
Sam Williams, who followed in his father’s footsteps spoke to Cowboys & Indians about growing up in the music industry as a legacy.
Sam said of his father, “He tried to be his dad and make his dad’s music and just sing his songs for a long time. And he did good at it, but there came a time and place where he had to do what he was put here to do, and that was change the entire genre of country music. That was to take country music from Nashville and take it worldwide. He’s an icon internationally and that’s something I’ve learned from him, just to be myself because that’s what you’re supposed to do.”
Williams-Dunnings’ Half-Sisters Hilary & Holly Williams Nearly Died In an Auto Accident In 2006
Hilary Williams took a break from her singing career after getting in a nearly fatal car crash with her sister, Holly, in 2006. While driving from Nashville to Louisiana, she was passing through Mississippi when her truck did a 360-degree turn and flipped four times.
She told People, “They said I shouldn’t have lived over 20 minutes because I lost six pints of blood. Before I even got on the helicopter, when I was on the stretcher, my blood pressure was 55 over nothing and that is when I went into cardiac arrest for the first time. I felt like I was drowning in a pool and couldn’t breathe.”
The singer opened up about that tragic evening in an interview with Pop Culture in 2018. She said, “My sister and I were in a terrible car accident. I died twice and came back to life. I had 30 surgeries. It took me awhile in recovery to make music.”
“It was hard,” Hilary added, who titled her debut album, My Lucky Scars, “but it was therapeutic also, to move through the emotions. Now I’m in a great place in my life. I have my good and bad days. But I do Pilates, physical therapy, get massages, and eat healthy. That all helps.”
William Dunnings’ Half-Brother Is Country Singer Hank Williams III
Hank Jr.’s oldest son his only child with wife Gwen Yeargain, is a country singer whose first album, Risin Outlaw, was released in 1999. He’s also played guitar in the punk-rock band Assjack, which released a self-titled album in 2009.
While Hank III has released 11 albums throughout his career, five of them were produced under his own label aptly titled Hank 3 Records.
Her Grandfather, Legendary Country Artist Hank Williams, Died In a Car at Age 29
Williams Dunnings’ was the granddaughter of Hank Williams, who had 11 No. 1 hits during his short-lived career with songs such as “Lovesick Blues,” “Why Don’t You Love Me,” “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Kaw-Liga,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” and more. Along with fellow luminaries Johnny Cash and George Strait, Williams is largely known as one of the “Kings of Country Music.”
At age 29, while traveling from Knoxville to a gig in Ohio, Williams died while sitting in the back seat of the car on January 1, 1953.