First Posted: 2/25/2009
HILLSVILLE, Va. Still showing the effects of an Oct. 17 traffic collision that killed a North Carolina resident, a Cana man appeared in court last week to waive a preliminary hearing on charges filed as a result.
Stephen Edwin Towe hobbled on one crutch with a leg in a brace into a session of Carroll County General District Court for a scheduled preliminary hearing.
Towe, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated involuntary manslaughter, two counts of maiming two other victims, felony reckless driving, driving under the influence, driving on a revoked or suspended license, possession of marijuana and a seat-belt violation.
He was the driver of a 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora that crossed the center line of Woodlawn Road in Carroll last October and collided with a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt operated by Ashley Nicole Whitaker, then 19, of Woodlawn.
A passenger in the car driven by Whitaker, Jessica Ruth Bowyer, 26, of Middlesex, N.C. located in Nash County near Rocky Mount died at the scene, the Virginia State Police has said.
Whitaker and Denise Webb of Hillsville, a passenger in the vehicle operated by Towe, were transported to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
Towe also was hospitalized as a result of the collision.
During the brief court appearance accompanied by his attorney, Dawn Davis Cox of Independence, Towe waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the more serious charges. This means they will be considered by a county grand jury for possible indictments that would pave the way for his trial in Circuit Court.
District Court Judge E.M. Turner found the Cana man guilty of the misdemeanor violations issued against him, which were appealed to Circuit Court.