Trucker to spend week in jail for I-85 crash that killed Rolesville family

March 7, 2019
Tim and Linda Jowers and their children, Brianna and Alexander, were killed in a Sept. 19, 2018, crash on Interstate 85 in Warren County.

A truck driver who pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing a Rolesville family last fall in a crash on Interstate 85 near the Virginia state line will spend only seven days in jail.

According to the State Highway Patrol, a tractor-trailer, a van and an SUV were stopped for slowed traffic on southbound I-85 near mile marker 226 on Sept. 19 when a second tractor-trailer rear-ended the SUV, pushing it into the van. The van then struck a guard rail and traveled back into the roadway, striking the first tractor-trailer, authorities said.

The family in the SUV, Linda Jowers, 47, Timothy Jowers, 47, Brianna Jowers, 10, and Alexander Jowers, 8, all died at the scene.

The family had traveled to Washington, D.C., for a trip via Amtrak, but they weren’t able to take the train back to North Carolina because of flooding and damage from Hurricane Florence, so they rented the SUV, authorities said.

James Pratt, 55, of Goodview, Va., pleaded guilty to four counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in connection with the crash. He was sentenced to consecutive 75-day jail terms, which was suspended to seven days behind bars and 24 months on probation.

Pratt also is prohibited from driving in North Carolina in the future, according to Warren County District Attorney Mike Waters.

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