Fort Worth

Son of WBAP personality Hal Jay dies in car wreck

Josh Harbuck, right, and his father, Hall Jay, left, along with Bobby Feather in a 2008 file photo.
Josh Harbuck, right, and his father, Hall Jay, left, along with Bobby Feather in a 2008 file photo.

Sad news came Tuesday in the DFW radio world as Josh Harbuck, son of longtime WBAP/820 AM personality Hal Jay, was killed in a single-car accident in Erath County.

According to the website The Flash Today, Harbuck, 36, of Aledo, was killed when the Ford F-250 he was driving crashed in the rain Tuesday night.

A Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman told the website that Harbuck, a pharmaceutical rep, was northbound on Texas 220, eight miles south of the U.S. 67 intersection, just after 6 p.m. when he lost control on the wet road and skidded off the east side. The vehicle rolled and came to rest on its top.

“First responders were dispatched to the scene from Erath County and Hico,” said The Flash Today’s report. Volunteers from Erath County Volunteer Fire Rescue, Erath County EMS, Cross Timbers First Responders, Hico VFD and Hamilton County EMS all were at the scene to assist the Texas Department of Public Safety, The Flash Today reported.

Harbuck was pronounced dead at the scene. Dean Papaliodis, a 35-year-old physician who was riding in the passenger seat, was not injured. He told a DPS trooper that he and Harbuck were traveling from Austin back to Fort Worth on business, according to the report. Both were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.

Brian Estridge, who co-hosts “Morning News With Hal Jay & Brian Estridge” on WBAP, paid tribute to Harbuck this morning. “Josh was the mini-Hal,” Estridge said. “If you could be a mini-anything at 6-foot-5, 295 pounds, he was that.” You can hear a podcast of Estridge’s tribute by clicking here and scrolling down.

According to WBAP’s report, Harbuck played football at Texas Christian University from 1998 to 2001. According to Star-Telegram archives, he struggled with knee and back injuries during the latter part of his time at TCU. He previously was an offensive lineman at Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth. He made the Star-Telegram’s all-area high-school team in 1997.

Harbuck is survived by his wife, Emery; two young children, Hudson and Harper; and his brother Carter, as well as by Hal Jay and his wife, Ann, according to WBAP’s report.

Many DFW radio personalities offered prayers and condolences to Jay’s family and tributes to Harbuck on social media late Tuesday and early Wednesday. Tributes also came in from TCU social-media accounts.

This report includes material from Star-Telegram archives.