10/13/2015 6:00PM

Sam Houston board chairman Hurwitz killed in boating accident

Courtesy of Sam Houston Race Park
Sam Houston chairman of the board Shawn Hurwitz died on Sunday as a result of a boating accident on Lake Austin.

Shawn Hurwitz, a prominent businessman in Houston and the chairman of the board of Sam Houston Race Park, died Sunday, according to a representative of the track. Hurwitz was 50. He died as the result of a boating accident on Lake Austin, according to a Tuesday release issued by the police department in Austin, Texas. Hurwitz’s family operates Maxxam Inc., one of the parent companies of Sam Houston.

J. Kent Friedman, a spokesperson for the family, on Monday issued a statement on the passing of Hurwitz.

“We don't have a lot of details at this time and ask for a degree of privacy as his loving family and friends mourn this tragic loss,” Friedman said in the statement. “Shawn Hurwitz's generous spirit and huge heart touched so many people over the years that this news will be devastating to people across the state and nation.

“We will share more information about the incident, services, and remembrance as is appropriate and it becomes known to us. Please keep the Hurwitz family and the families of the others involved in the accident in your hearts and prayers in the days ahead.”

The Tuesday release from the police stated officers responded to a boat crash at 5:10 a.m. Central. The boat appeared to have hit a private construction barge, the release stated. The barge could have been used for such tasks as building a boat house or private pier, according to the release.

Sam Houston opened in 1994 under the direction of the Hurwitz family. The track conducts meets for both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses and is the home of the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic; the Grade 3, $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Cup; and the $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup.