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Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Robert Lewis Burns Jr. is killed in a car crash

By Karen Butler
Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1973. Wikimedia Commons
Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1973. Wikimedia Commons

ATLANTA, April 4 (UPI) -- Original Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Robert Lewis Burns, Jr. has died in a single-car crash in Georgia. He was 64.

The Georgia State Patrol told TMZ Burns was not wearing a seatbelt when he veered off the road as he approached a curb and hit a tree and a mailbox.

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Burns was a founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, performing with the band from its inception in 1964 until 1974.

The band's lead singer, guitarist and backup vocalist were killed in a 1977 plane crash, but surviving members continue to perform together. Burns most recently played with the Artimus Pyle Band.

"Fans we are absolutely devastated this morning after learning that our dear friend, band mate and original Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer, Bob Burns has passed away," the Artimus Pyle Band said in a Facebook post Saturday. "Bob was one of the kindest, sweetest men you would ever want to know and a rock solid drummer. Artimus calls him the Ringo Star of southern rock. We were honored to have shared the stage with Bob and were looking forward to many more shows down the road. Bob we love you and will surely miss you! Prayers for his daughters Lou and Kristen. RIP old friend."

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"Well, today I'm at a loss for words, but I just remember Bob being a funny guy. He was just so funny, he used to do skits for us and make us laugh all the time, he was hilarious!" Lynyrd Skynyrd founding member Gary Rossington said in his own Facebook message. "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 and God bless him and them in this sad time. He was a great great drummer."

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