The holidays were a particularly sad time for the family of retired Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden. Bowden’s 23-year-old grandson, along with a 25-year-old friend, drowned on Christmas night as the result of a fatal accident near Winter Haven. According to reports, the two men, accompanied by a third friend, had been home for the holidays and were traveling in a Mitsubishi when the car left the road and ended up in a stream of water.
Although the car most likely went off the pavement and entered the stream around 2 a.m., several hours passed before it was discovered. When divers finally reached the vehicle, they found a 22-year-old man to be alive in the back seat, who was later released from the hospital after being treated for hypothermia. Autopsy reports confirmed that the two dead men drowned, as neither had suffered injuries in the crash.
According to reports, the three men, friends from high school, had allegedly been drinking that evening which caused the driver to lose control of the car. According to the Polk County Sheriff, it appeared that alcohol had played a part in the driver attempting to negotiate a curve at too great a speed, adding that there was nothing wrong with the road. Toxicology reports are pending for all three men.
It appears that no charges will be filed in connection with this incident due to fact that the driver is dead. Reports also indicate that no criminal charges are pending for the bar that served drinks to the men. However, if toxicology reports show that the driver was under the influence of alcohol, it could result in the filing of a civil case alleging wrongful death.
Source: WSTP, “Speed, alcohol factors in deadly crash involving Bowden’s grandson, Polk Sheriff reports”, December 28, 2013