The night of June 25, 2022, was the night that changed the lives of a Sylacauga family.

Brothers Preston, 17, and Tanner Bowen, 19, were involved in a crash. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) said Preston was driving when his truck left the roadway and struck a tree on Coleman Bridge Road.

Preston was pronounced dead on the scene. Tanner was taken to the hospital with a serious brain injury.

Their father, Robert, has a message on the two-year anniversary of the crash.

“Don’t take for granted the importance of living in the moment,” he wrote. “When you see us, we may have a smile on our face but our hearts are broken with missing pieces. We have been forever changed.”

The brothers had much to look forward to at the time of the crash. Preston had graduated from Sylacauga High School a month earlier, and Tanner had just returned home from Army Camp in Washington that day.

Bowen Family 2021 Alabama News
From left: Robert, Melissa, Colin, Preston, Tanner and Mackenzie Bowen. Photo: Robert Bowen.

Tanner spent the next several months at UAB Hospital and was eventually taken to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for rehabilitation.

His father and mother, Melissa, have updated the public on his progress. They have worked hard with their son to give him the best life possible and are thankful he’s alive.

“Children are a gift from God, if you are given this reward, they should be treated as such,” Robert Bowen added.

The Bowens want to share their story now to remind parents how special being a parent is. They said their faith gives them the strength to make it through each day.

Preston Bowen Alabama News
Preston Bowen.

Preston and Tanner’s younger brother, Colin, graduated from Sylacauga High School this year. He was the Sylacauga Aggie Band drum major and received three scholarships to Auburn University, where he plans to major in music.

Their sister Mackenzie is in college at Montevallo, studying education.

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