Robert Burns Jr., the former drummer and a founding member of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died April 3 in a single-vehicle crash near Cartersville, Ga. He was 64.
Georgia State Patrol spokeswoman Tracey Watson said Mr. Burns’s vehicle went off a road just before midnight as it approached a curve, striking a mailbox and a tree. He died at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt. The accident remains under investigation.
Mr. Burns was one of five musicians who founded the band in Jacksonville, Fla., in the mid-1960s. He was with the group when it recorded its biggest hits, including “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Gimme Three Steps,” and “Free Bird.” He left the group in 1974.
In 1977, three members of the band, including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, were killed when the band’s airplane crashed in Mississippi.
Mr. Burns continued to play for fun or in guest appearances nationally, said his father, Robert Burns Sr. In the band’s early years in Florida, it rehearsed in the Burns family garage.
“He had the manners that would suit the King of England,” Mr. Burns’s father said. “Very soft-spoken and extremely well-
mannered person to come out of that kind of industry.”