‘We’re just tore up’: One son killed, one in critical condition after car crash

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 12:53 AM EDT

SYLACAUGA, Ala. (WBRC/Gray News) - An Alabama family said a car crash has changed their lives forever. One brother was killed in the crash, while a second is now fighting for his life.

Sylacauga City Schools Superintendent Dr. Michele Eller said she cannot imagine what the Bowen family is going through after a car crash took the life of one of their sons, Preston Bowen, and left another, Tanner Bowen, in critical condition.

Preston Bowen was a recent Sylacauga High School graduate.

Preston Bowen, a recent high school graduate, was killed when he and his brother were in a car...
Preston Bowen, a recent high school graduate, was killed when he and his brother were in a car crash.(Sylacauga City Schools)

“His dad Robert said, ‘I don’t know how to say it otherwise. We’re just tore up,’” Eller told WBRC.

The Bowen family said the brothers were traveling along Coleman Bridge Road on Saturday when their vehicle crashed after leaving the roadway. Preston Bowen died on the scene, and Tanner Bowen was taken to a Birmingham hospital with critical injuries.

Eller said the family now has the daunting task of planning a funeral and staying at the hospital around the clock as Tanner Bowen recovers.

“His mom said ... ‘I can’t even compartmentalize what I need to do for Preston.’ She said, ‘I can’t leave here.’ They had to finally make her leave yesterday to take a shower,” Eller said.

Eller said Tanner Bowen had been serving in the Army and came home last weekend to surprise his family.

“It’s pretty critical. They had to remove half his liver. They have packing in there right now. They need to go in to remove that. He’s had swelling on the brain. He had a stroke the other night. They don’t even know the extent of that. They can’t go in and do what they need to do until some of that swelling comes down. He’s going to have about nine surgeries,” Eller said.

The Bowen family lost one son, while another is now fighting for his life after a car crash.
The Bowen family lost one son, while another is now fighting for his life after a car crash.(Sylacauga City Schools)

So far, there’s no word on when Preston Bowen’s funeral will be. The family is having to stay in Birmingham at a hotel because Tanner Bowen’s care is so critical, they need to be close by.

Family members have set up a GoFundMe to help cover the costs.

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