A Campus in Mourning; Deadly Accident at Maryville College

By: Stephen McLamb Email
By: Stephen McLamb Email

Maryville (WVLT) -- A tragic crash has taken the life of a Maryville Assistant football coach and injured two others.

Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb has the details on the crash, from the campus of Maryville College.

A campus still in shock.

Monday night just before 11, Shawn Cody Bowers died when the pickup he was driving hit a tree.

Two friends, Jack "Trey" Lefler and 24 year-old Matthew Lambert, a 2007 Maryville College graduate are critically injured.

This was Coach Cody Bowers first season as an assistant coach.

"It's tragic day for Maryville College," said Athletic Director Randy Lambert, who is no relation to Matthew Lambert.

It didn't' take students long Monday night to realize something really bad had happened

"Went to get ice cream and when we came back there was bunch of cars, cop cars, with their lights flashing on campus and we never seen cop cars fly into campus," Rachel Foreman, Maryville College student.

Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp says 25 year-old Jeremiah Cody Bowers was driving down a small road in a wooded area of the Maryville College campus around 11:00 p.m. when the accident occurred.

"Struck a tree head-on, the truck went into a clockwise rotation, and struck another tree doing severe impact on the drivers side door," said Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp.

Coach Bowers died in the accident

"We do feel that speed was a factor. The speed limit is 20 on the private drive throughout the college, we do feel speed was involved," said Crisp.

Jack "Trey" Lefler of Loudon was ejected from the wreck.

He and 24 year-old Matthew Lambert of Maryville were taken to U.T. Medical Center.

"I think it's horrible, you know it's a small campus, don't think about stuff like that happening on it," said student Alina Smith.

It's left the student body, faculty, and coaching staff in shock.

"All he wanted to do in life was to be an assistant coach at Maryville College he came to work with such enthusiasm, that he never had a bad day here," said Maryville College Head Coach Tony Ierlulli.

"Our prayers go out to the young men involved and their families we're trying to cope with this as a community right now," said Athletic Director Lambert.

The football coaches met with the players earlier this afternoon.

Chief Crisp says they're trying to determine if alcohol is involved.

He says none of the young men were wearing a seat belt.

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