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Father of singer killed in collision
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Father of singer killed in collision

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NORMAN (AP) -- The father of country-western singer Toby Keith may have suffered a stroke before he died in a collision with a tour bus, Keith said Sunday.

Hubert "H.K." Covel Jr. was headed home to Moore from a childhood friend's barbecue in Lindsay on Saturday when his pickup truck crossed the median on Interstate 35 five miles south of Norman and struck the bus.

Covel, 67, suffered head and internal injuries and died at the scene.

Keith was out of town but returned home to Norman when he learned of his father's death. He canceled some shows but said tour dates next month should not be affected.

Covel underwent a quadruple bypass two years ago but seemed to be doing all right, Keith told The Daily Oklahoman.

"I hate to speculate, but I think he had a stroke," Keith said. "It was early part of the afternoon, time for him to cat around.

"Something happened to get him over the median. He was only going 35 mph. He was too good a driver."

Keith said his father attended his shows when Keith played rodeos and that he loved to hang out with the guys.

"He liked to work a lot on my ranch, overseeing the horses," Keith said. "He loved to watch the horses run."

Covel served overseas in the military before returning home to marry Carolyn Ross in June 1960. He worked the next 35 years in the oilfield business.

After retiring, he became active in the Masonic Lodge and in his church, Calvary Freewill Baptist Church in Norman.

Covel is survived by his wife, Carolyn; two sons, Toby Keith (Covel) of Norman, and Tracy K. Covel of Titusville, Fla.; and a daughter, Tonni Karan Covel- Moore of Yukon. Covel had five grandchildren.

Services will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Calvary Freewill Baptist Church in Norman.

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