Driver charged after SUV crash

GREENFIELD — The driver of a sport utility vehicle that crashed into a Greenfield home with a family inside Saturday night was high on Spice at the time of the crash, according to court documents filed Monday.

Thomas Bowman lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a home in the 700 block of East Main Street in Greenfield just after 9 p.m. Saturday. His passenger told police the pair had been smoking synthetic marijuana — also known as Spice — prior to the crash, and police found paraphernalia in the vehicle, court records state.

Bowman was arrested early the next morning after being treated for minor injuries at Hancock Regional Hospital, said Greenfield Police Maj. Derek Towle. No one in the home was injured.

On Monday, prosecutors filed charges against the driver: Bowman faces charges of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, both Level 6 felonies; and misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Bowman was driving west on East Main Street in Greenfield when he veered to the left, crossing two lanes of traffic and then hit the house, Towle said.

The passenger, who was not charged, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Neither the driver nor the passenger was wearing a seat belt, Towle said.

Bowman appeared disoriented at the scene, had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes, police reports state.

The passenger told police she and Bowman had been smoking Spice prior to the crash and while driving. Drug paraphernalia, including a pipe and a plastic bag containing “plant-like material” was found in the SUV, court records state.

Results of Bowman’s blood test are pending, Towle said.

Just before the accident, Brooke Conley was doing some last-minute housework before she, her boyfriend and their 2-year-old daughter, who live in the house, settled in for the night. She watched from the hallway as the SUV smashed through the wall of her bedroom.

No one in the home was hurt, a silver lining that Conley and her boyfriend, Calvin Collis, tried to hold on to as they watched emergency crews board up their home Saturday.

They say they escaped injury by a matter of inches.

Collis had been in the couple’s backyard a few minutes before the accident. He had tracked mud in through the back door, and Conley was mopping it up when the SUV hit the home.

Collis said he and the couple’s 2-year-old daughter had been in the room where the SUV hit just minutes before. They had just moved into the kitchen, and they watched as appliances lining the walls jolted with the impact.

“The stove, kitchen cabinets, the plates — everything went flying, and I heard Brooke scream,” Collis said.

The family was planning to stay with relatives until repairs could be made.

Bowman’s bond has been set at $200 cash; he remained in the Hancock County Jail at press time.

He is expected back in court Oct. 26, according to jail records.

Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or