Loved ones go off-roading in dresses and suits to honor Estill Co. crash victim

Published: Apr. 28, 2018 at 10:23 PM EDT
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Six months after a crash took the life of a Powell County man, loved ones continue to grieve. 26-year-old General Bowen died in October 2017, after police say a drunk driver crashed into his vehicle in Estill County.

On Saturday, family and friends held a fundraiser in Bowen's honor to make sure his spirit lives on. "We know he's looking down on us today," said Bowen's father J.L. Bowen.

Those who knew General describe him as a gentle giant who loved the outdoors. "General really loved being here just as much as anybody else would, and we always like to be like General. He was our General Giant," said Dee Dotson with Callie's Campground. Family and friends gathered there this weekend for a three-day fundraiser.

Bowen was killed by a drunk driver just a few months before he was set to graduate from Morehead State University, and then head to Virginia for law school. While he loved being in a classroom learning, family members say he also loved being outside.

"We always enjoyed the outdoors and riding. When we tragically lost him...we're missing him but we wanted to do something in his honor that he loved to do," said Bowen.

Wearing dresses and suits, people piled into 65 off-roading vehicles for the memorial ride on Saturday, and hit various trails in Powell County in his honor.

"We've had a ball out in the mud," said Bowen, as sponsors got ready for a night of music, raffles, and t-shirt sales, all to benefit local first responders.

"Just to let his legacy live on," said Nate Eldridge with Eco-OHV who sponsored the event, along with Lower 48 Outfitters, and Lucky's Autosports and Offroad.

Money earned this weekend will go to the Middle Fork Volunteer Fire Department, which is another place that holds a lot of meaning for General and his family.

"I was the first chief at Middle Fork. We started it and he grew up in it," said Bowen.

As loved ones try to live like General, they're remembering to,"be the change you want to see in the world."

"That's his logo," said Bowen.

Loved ones will return to Callie's Campground on Sunday for another day of fundraising. They say anyone who wants to help can also directly donate to the Middle Fork Volunteer Fire Department.