Published: February 22, 2006
“He will always be in our hearts”
PJC student Braden Bowers, 18, was killed in a car accident Feb. 16. The accident, which occurred around 3:50 p.m., took place on I-10. Bowers was traveling eastbound when a van pulled into his lane causing him to veer to the left to avoid a collision. As he did so he crossed the median into the westbound lane, where he was struck on the right side by an oncoming car. The driver of the van sustained no injuries and the driver of the oncoming car was taken to West Florida Hospital and sustained non-fatal injuries.
Bowers made the drive from Orange Beach, Ala. every school day to study art at PJC. Fellow student and school friend Michael Perceval said that Bowers had planned on creating animation and was specifically interested in cartooning. Perceval met Bowers back in fall 2004 when they shared an English Composition I class together. Since then, the two had been in several classes together and had become good school friends, occasionally hanging out after classes.
“I definitely considered him a friend; he really stood out as someone who was genuine,” Perceval said. “We liked to goof off.”
Kelsi Muloch and Debbie Chestang sat at his table in 2-Dimensional Design. They spoke of how sweet he was, and said “he was always in a good mood and liked to joke around a lot.”
Paula Takahashi, his 2-Dimensional Design teacher, said that he liked to draw his work out very lightly.
“When classes had first started, while I was still learning everyone’s name, I would call roll and when it came time for him to answer he would say ‘I’m the one who draws lightly.'”
Bowers was enrolled in two classes with Takahashi this semester.
“I saw him for almost 12 hours a week. He was in here every night, four nights a week,” she said.
“He showed a lot of promise. He was always very open to suggestions and took his work seriously.”
Bowers’ English instructor, Jamie Benton, said that Braden was a most impressive student, extremely smart, and had every asset that he would have needed to succeed in this world.