ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge man was sentenced Wednesday in connection to a deadly crash in 2015 that claimed the life of a teenager.
The 23rd Judicial District Court reports that on February 22, Thomas Bowers, 44, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide.
The wreck happened back on August 4, 2015 around 11:30 p.m. on Highway 42 west of Highway 44 in Ascension Parish. When Louisiana State Police troopers arrived on scene, they determined Bowers had been driving east on Highway 42 in his Chevy Silverado pickup when he failed to stop for a stalled vehicle in the eastbound lane.
Bowers rear-ended a Mazda Tribute. At the time of the impact, Richard Billingsley II, 18, who was a passenger in the Mazda, was trying to push the car from behind to get it out of the road. He was struck by Bowers' vehicle and pronounced dead on the scene. Officials note that the Mazda's emergency flashers were functional at the time of the wreck.
When troopers spoke with Bowers, they observed obvious signs of impairment and could smell alcohol. Bowers refused to submit to Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. Troopers then took a blood sample from Bowers for analysis. He was then booked into the Ascension Parish Detention Center. Results from the blood test showed Bowers' blood alcohol content was .143 percent.
On May 21, Bowers was sentenced to 20 years in jail with credit for time served, three years of which will be without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. Bowers was sentenced by Judge Alvin Turner Jr.