WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The son of University of Akron assistant coach Jeff Bowden and nephew of head coach Terry Bowden died in car accident Thursday.
According to WTVT, the car in which Taylor Jeffrey Bowden was riding in Winter Haven, Fla. crashed through a fence, flipped upside-down and became submerged in water.
One passenger survived but Bowden, 23, and the driver did not make it.
“My entire family and I are mourning the loss of our son, Taylor ‘T.J.’ Bowden, who was killed in a tragic car accident early (Thursday) morning. I can’t express the grief I feel right now. Please keep us in your prayers,” Jeff Bowden said in a statement. He is Akron’s special team’s coordinator and also coaches the outside receivers.
“We are thankful to everyone who has already sent their love, support and prayers during this time of great loss and sadness for our family. Taylor, ‘T.J.’, will forever be in our hearts,” was the statement released by Akron head coach Terry Bowden and family.
T.J. Bowden was also the grandson of legendary Florida State University coach Bobby Bowden.
“Our whole family had just celebrated Christmas together in Panama City, as well as celebrated T.J.’s graduation from Florida State just three weeks ago. We will cherish those last memories together with T.J. forever,” said Bobby Bowden in a statement.
The Polk County sheriff told WTVT the water was extremely dark and muddy and the survivor didn’t respond to rescuers while they worked in and around the vehicle for hours.
“The person that survived was in the back of the vehicle, and just barely was able to get his head out of the water,” Sheriff Grady Judd said.
The sheriff’s office also said alcohol appears to be a factor in the accident.
This is the second loss the University of Akron football community has endured this week.
Assistant coach Alan Arrington, 44, died after a car accident in Mississippi Monday.