SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 22, 2014

Driver: ‘I killed my best friend’

Peabody man facing up to 3 years in prison for fatal crash

(Continued)

Dolhun, an assistant district attorney, said it was Fowler’s decision to run from the scene after the crash — passing not only an ambulance and EMT that had stopped to help, but a fire station and nearly four dozen houses where he could have asked for help — that led to her recommendation, along with a prior drunken driving charge in 2010.

When police did find him, about three-quarters of a mile away, covered in cuts and blood, Fowler continued to insist he was going home to his wife, who was due to give birth in two weeks, said the prosecutor.

At one point, he took a fighting stance, said Dolhun, and refused to cooperate as police tried to place him under arrest. He grew combative when he learned that hospital workers planned to take a blood sample, the evidence that would show how drunk he was that night.

But while Walker’s family had once been in agreement with the prosecution’s recommendation, said Dolhun, they now support the recommendation of Fowler’s attorney, Gary Zerola, for a 21/2 to three-year sentence, the term that Judge Howard Whitehead said he will impose next month during sentencing.

“It has been almost 11 months,” said Gail MacDonald, Walker’s aunt. “The saying is time heals all wounds; I respectfully disagree. Time has not healed the gaping wound that was ripped into my family. Some days it consumes your every waking moment.”

But at the same time, Walker’s family has been grateful for Fowler’s cooperation with their attorney, Terrence Kennedy, who said yesterday that he is preparing civil suits against the bars that he says overserved Fowler — who estimated he’d consumed 20 to 24 drinks that night — and the tow company that illegally left the flatbed on a side street overnight.

Kennedy said that without Fowler’s help, the suit would be difficult to prove.

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