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Bobby Bowden's grandson one of two killed in car crash

Bobby Bowden's grandson one of two killed in car crash

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (970 WFLA/AP) – The grandson of former Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden is one of two men killed when a car went into a lake early Thursday morning. Another passenger is in the hospital, rescued after spending several hours in an air pocket.

23-year-old Taylor Bowden was the front seat passenger in a Mitsubishi driven by 25-year-old Rafael Fernandes de Aguiar Valim of Winter Haven.  

Deputies were called to the scene on Country Club Road South, between Dundee Road and Lake Hamilton Road around 7:47 a.m. after a Florida refuse truck spotted a car upside down and about 2/3 submerged in water.

When crews arrived, deputies said there were no signs of life from within the car during the numerous efforts by first responders to locate any survivors. The front end of the car was completely submerged, and a portion of the back end was sticking up out of the water, according to PCSO.

Around 11:45 a.m., dive team deputies who were in the water heard noises coming from within the car, according to officials, and they established communication from a man who was inside the car, telling deputies he was cold and needed help. Up until this point in time, deputies said the victim had made no noise and did not respond to any of the first responders' efforts to locate survivors.

Deputies said their dive team rescued the adult male victim, identified as 22-year-old Robert Lewis Edwards of Boca Raton. He was a back seat passenger during the time of the crash, and was submerged in the water up to his neck. Deputies said Edwards is being treated for hypothermia and other injuries at a local hospital.

Deputies are still investigating the crash and said so far it appears that this car was the only car involved, and that it was heading northbound on Country Club Road when, for unknown reasons, it left the roadway across the southbound lane, through a fence, down an embankment, ending up upside down in the water. Alcohol appears to be a factor in the crash, according to the Sheriff's Office, who said the three left Indigo's Bar around closing time, then went to Taco Bell, and were on their way to a friend's house at around two that the morning.

Photos Credit Polk County Sheriff's Office


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