One more deadly massacre in Blacksburg, Va. was avoided when a drunken driver lost control of her sport-utility vehicle and swerved onto a crowded sidewalk, hitting eight pedestrians. All were treated at hospitals but none sustained life-threatening injuries. The vehicle careened out of control just as downtown bars were closing. The SUV knocked down a tree and broke a light pole before coming to rest around 2 a.m. Saturday, June 18.
Just two months earlier, a Tech student shot and killed 32 students and wounded 25 others before taking his own life in an engineering building on campus. Not including the loss of life during the Civil War, the Tech shooting was the deadliest in U.S. history.
Twenty-year-old Mary Bowen registered a 0.20 Breathalyzer test at the scene. She told Blacksburg Police she was text-messaging on her cell phone when she lost control of her 2001 Toyota RAV4. Traveling north, her vehicle swerved across southbound lanes and jumped the curb, coming to rest near a restaurant on the 200 block of Main Street. Six of the injured were taken to Montgomery Regional Hospital and two others were taken to Carilion New River Valley Medical Center. The driver, a Virginia Tech student from Winchester, was not injured.