From Trussville Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE –Diane McGlown, 47, and two children, Jakobe Johnson, 8, and Cardell Coachman, 8, were killed Saturday when a van collided with the car they were traveling in, according to the Jefferson County sheriff’s office. Jefferson County deputy coroner Bill Yates said all three victims were from Birmingham.
A statement from the sheriff’s office said evidence indicated the driver of the van, Lawerence Jason Bewley, 45, of Birmingham, was impaired at the time of the evidence. Bewley was not injured in the crash.
“Just after 11 p.m. last night, deputies responded to the intersection of Alabama Highway 79 and Jefferson State Parkway to investigate a report of a traffic accident with injuries,” Chief Deputy Randy Christian said in the statement. “They arrived to find a white Dodge van had collided with a red Mitsubishi. Two of the backseat passengers, a 43-year-old female and an 8-year-old male, in the Mitsubishi had been ejected and were pronounced dead on the scene. A second 8-year-old male was discovered still in the backseat of the car. He was also pronounced dead on the scene.”
The 39-year-old female driver and 71-year-old female front passenger, both from Birmingham, suffered serious injuries and were transported to the hospital.
According to officials, witness statements and evidence indicated the van was traveling north on Alabama Highway 79 at a high rate of speed when the Mitsubishi was crossing from Jefferson State Parkway to travel south on Alabama Highway 79.
The investigation indicated the van struck the Mitsubishi in the driver’s side.
The Sheriff’s Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team (START), Evidence Technicians and Criminal Division Detectives responded along with patrol deputies.
While questioning Bewley, deputies discovered that he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, according to Christian.
Christian said Bewley was arrested and charged with DUI. He was then taken to the Jefferson County jail in Birmingham where a test indicated his blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit.
Bewley was also charged with three counts of murder. He is being held on $187,500.00 bond.