Driver charged in fatal crash

-A A +A
By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

WOODLAWN — A 41-year-old Cana man faces multiple charges, including involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence, after a two-vehicle accident last Friday that killed a 26-year-old Middlesex, N.C., woman.

Stephen Edwin Towe of Cana was taken to the New River Valley Regional Jail after being released from Roanoke Memorial Hospital Friday.

Virginia State Police Trooper J.H. Bledsoe identified the woman killed in the 10:30 a.m. wreck on Woodlawn Road as Jessica Ruth Bowyer, who died at the scene.

Bowyer was a passenger in the 2007 Chevy Cobalt being driven by Ashley Nicole Whitaker, 19, of Woodlawn.

Whitaker had just pulled off of U.S. 58 and gotten about 300 feet down Woodlawn Road, when a four-door 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora, driven by Towe, crossed the centerline near a curve and struck the Cobalt, Bledsoe said.

The Oldsmobile was registered to Donald and Denise Webb of Hillsville, and Denise Webb was in the passenger seat at the time of the accident.

Bledsoe reports that multiple injuries occurred because the occupants of the two cars were not wearing their seatbelts.

Towe, Webb and Whitaker were all transported to Twin County Regional Hospital.

Both Webb and Whitaker were transferred to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for treatment. Bledsoe reported Webb as being in critical but stable condition and Whitaker being stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit.

On Friday, Bledsoe charged Towe with driving under the influence.

Later, on Saturday, the trooper additionally charged Towe with involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving, possession of marijuana and driving on a revoked or suspended license.

And after further investigation, Bledsoe charged Towe with aggravated involuntary manslaughter, two counts of maiming another while driving under the influence and a misdemeanor no seat belt.