Former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden’s grandson Taylor Jeffrey (T.J.) Bowden, 23, was killed on Thursday after his car flipped into a ditch off a central Florida road. T.J. was a passenger in the vehicle that was being driven by Rafael Fernandes De Aguiar Valim. De Aguiar Valim was also killed in the crash. A third passenger Robert Lewis Edwards was rescued after spending hours in the water.
”Our whole family had just celebrated Christmas together in Panama City, as well as celebrated T.J.’s graduation from Florida State just three weeks ago,” Bobby Bowden said in a statement. ”We will cherish those last memories together with T.J. forever.”
T.J. Bowden was the son of Jeff Bowden, a former Florida State assistant coach under his father. “I can’t express the grief I feel right now,” Jeff Bowden said in a statement. “Please keep us in your prayers.”
A trash collector reported a submerged car at 7:47 a.m. The front of the car was under water, while the rear was still visible. At first, the police couldn’t find any survivors, but divers, more than three hours later, heard Edwards calling out for help, and they were able to pull him to safety in just minutes. They later recovered the bodies of Bowden and De Aguiar Valim.
While the crash is still being investigated, it is believed that alcohol played a factor.
Image via Wikimedia Commons