Man Facing Murder Charges After Fatal Accident

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

One man is dead another is charged with murder and DUI after a car crash on a busy Eastern Kentucky highway.

It happened on U.S. 23 in Johnson County, near Wittensville.

Sheriff deputies say there was no reason for the crash to happen at all but they say the driver who started the crash was driving drunk and they believe that's why the wreck happened and why one man is now dead.

Sheriff deputies say 45-year-old Franklin Prater was driving south on U.S. 23 when a car rear ended him.

"I don't know if he had any time at all to react to it," said Brian Jeffiers, W.R. Castle Assistant Fire Chief.

Witnesses said the hit sent Prater's car spinning across the median and into the other lane. A pick up truck crashed into the car's side.

"One of our members lives close by and heard everything and said in just a matter of a couple of seconds, it was over with," Jeffiers said.

"It was a pretty bad scene," said Sgt. Tom Wyatt with the Johnson County Sheriff's Department.

Prater was pronounced dead at the scene. The pick up truck's driver, 61-year-old Dallas Daniels, was flown to Cabell-Huntington Hospital. The driver who allegedly hit Prater first wasn't injured.

"As he approached us, we could smell what we believed to be the odor of alcohol emitting from his person," Wyatt said.

Deputies say 39-year-old Earl Bowen failed field sobriety tests.

"He admitted to taking prescriptions that were prescribed to him and he admitted to drinking alcoholic beverages prior to driving," Wyatt said.

Investigators say Bowen had both hydrocodone and beer in his system after the crash. They believe the combination was deadly for Prater.

Bowen is now in jail charged with both murder and DUI.

Deputies are still investigating and are trying to determine Bowen's speed at the time of the crash. They say they have the black boxes from his car that will hopefully give them some answers.

Bowen will be arraigned next week.

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