While members of the victim’s family looked on, 28-year-old Christina Crowe stood before Judge Horace Johnson Jr., and was formally charged in the death of 7-year-old Bobby Joe Couch Thursday morning.
Crowe is charged with two counts of homicide by vehicle in the first degree, two counts of serious injury by vehicle, one count of homicide by vehicle in the second degree, two counts of driving under the influence, five counts of endangering a child while driving under the influence and one count each of failure to maintain lane, driving on the wrong side of the roadway and open container.
According to Georgia State Patrol Trooper Jeremiah Slayton, Crowe was driving her vehicle south on Ga. Highway 162 in November. Evidence showed that she travelled off the side of the road, overcorrected and then went across both lanes of traffic before finally running off the shoulder of the road and striking a tree. The point of impact to Crowe’s car was the right rear portion of the vehicle where Couch was seated at the time.
Crowe reportedly told friends in an e-mail that she came around a curve in the road and saw another vehicle coming toward her in her lane. The e-mail allegedly indicated she swerved to avoid a collision with that vehicle.
But according to Slayton, the area where the accident occurred is a straight-a-way and witnesses in the area during the time reported there was no other vehicle in the area.
Crowe, her young daughter and Couch’s younger brother were all sent to Atlanta hospitals by Life Flight after the accident. She reportedly suffered a broken shoulder and various surface injuries, 4-year-old James Couch needed stitches and had several bumps and bruises and Crowe’s daughter reportedly suffered a head injury and had to have several brain surgeries performed to remove one of her frontal skull bones to alleviate swelling. Bobby was transported to Newton Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Initially no charges were brought against Crowe but when toxicology reports came back they reportedly showed that Crowe was intoxicated at the time of the accident.
Crowe was arrested and charged in March and made the $9,500 property bond set. Assistant District Attorney Anne Kurtz requested that modifications be made to Crowe’s bond, asking that she not consume any alcohol while on bond, that she submit to random drug and alcohol tests every two weeks and that she not operate a motor vehicle with any children – including her own – inside. Crowe’s public defender Deepa Patel agreed to the stipulations.