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Man killed with family in I-85 wreck was candidate for Wake County commissioner

Two children and two adults from Rolesville, North Carolina, died in a crash on southbound Interstate 85 in Warren County on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, the State Highway Patrol said.
Two children and two adults from Rolesville, North Carolina, died in a crash on southbound Interstate 85 in Warren County on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, the State Highway Patrol said. Google Maps

A man killed with his family on Interstate 85 in Warren County last week when a tractor-trailer crashed into the car they were traveling in was a candidate for the Wake County Board of Commissioners.

Four vehicles were involved in the Sept. 19 wreck in the southbound lanes of the interstate, said Sgt. Christopher Knox, a Highway Patrol spokesman. In addition to the family’s Ford Escape, two tractor-trailers and a work van were involved in a series of crashes.

The Rolesville residents who died were identified as Timothy Jowers, Linda Jowers, 47, Brianna Jowers, 10, and Alexander Jowers, 8, troopers said.

Tim Jowers had filed to run for Wake County’s District 1 seat against Democratic incumbent Sig Hutchinson and Republican challenger Greg Jones.

“Words cannot express our grief,” said David Ulmer, chair of the Wake County Libertarian Party. “We offer deepest condolences to Tim and Linda’s family and relatives.”

Troopers said they were charging the driver of the tractor-trailer that was behind the Jowers’ vehicle, James Pratt, 55, of Goodview, Virginia, with misdemeanor death by vehicle and reckless driving. He was taken to Maria Parham Hospital in Henderson with what troopers called serious, but not life-threatening, injuries.

Investigators reported that one of the tractor-trailers, the work van and the Ford Escape all had stopped for slowed traffic on the interstate between the 226 and 227 mile markers, between Middleburg and the Virginia State Line.

Pratt failed to reduce speed before his rig ran into the rear of the Ford Escape, according to the Highway Patrol.

The Ford then rammed into the van, and the force of that impact pushed the van off the road. It struck a guard rail before going back onto the road and striking the first tractor-trailer that had been stopped in front of it.

An obituary said the “Jowers family entered the kingdom of God just as they lived their lives — together.” A memorial service is set for 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, at Richland Community Church, located at 3229 Burlington Mills Road, Wake Forest.

“If anyone knew the Jowers family, they knew the family was almost always together,” the obituary read.. “Tim was famous for initiating family adventures. Linda was known, both in and outside of the family, for her kindness and open-door hospitality. The children lived in a constant state of family togetherness and love.”

A co-driver riding with Pratt was taken to Duke University Hospital for treatment, the Highway Patrol said.

The driver of the first tractor-trailer was slightly injured, troopers said. The van driver, Michael James Williamson, 60, of Raleigh, also was hurt, they said.

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