17-year-old dies from wreck injuries

LAWRENCEVILLE - Friends and family members of a 17-year-old girl who died over the weekend from injuries received in a wreck will gather today for a memorial service at a Lilburn funeral home.

Ashley Marie Bowen, a high school student at Faith Academy in Loganville, never regained consciousness after the wreck on Wednesday evening, her uncle Donald Bowen said. She died Saturday at Gwinnett Medical Center.

Investigators are still awaiting toxicology results on 19-year-old Dustin Nathaniel Ellis, the driver of the car that Bowen was riding in. He will face vehicular homicide and other traffic-related charges, said Cpl. Darren Moloney, Gwinnett County police spokesman.

Police believe drugs and alcohol may have contributed to the two-car crash Wednesday evening at the intersection of Lake Lucerne Road and Stone Mountain Highway.

Witnesses told authorities that Ellis was driving his 1988 GMC pickup truck recklessly before the accident, crossing the double yellow line and driving on the wrong side of the road before running a red light and crashing into a Ford Explorer.

Ellis was listed in serious condition at Gwinnett Medical Center on Monday. The driver of the Ford Explorer was treated and released from the hospital last week.

"Arrest warrants will be obtained for Ellis after he recovers from his injuries," Moloney said.

Gwinnett County records show Ellis was involved a similar incident nine months ago. In August 2005, Ellis was charged with several violations including driving on the wrong side of the road, reckless driving, serious injury by motor vehicle and theft by receiving.

That case has not been adjudicated yet, Moloney said.

Donald Bowen said Ashley was an outgoing, cheerful person who like most teenagers enjoyed hanging out with her friends. Many classmates from her small, private Christian school visited the funeral home Monday to offer condolences to the family, he said.

Ashley Bowen had gotten off work at Joe's To Go about 5 p.m. on the eve of the wreck. All the family knows is that she was hanging out with her friend Ellis for the first time, and that he worked at a business two doors down from the restaurant where Ashley Bowen was employed.

The wreck occurred less than half a mile from Ashley's home in Lake Lucerne subdivision in Snellville, Donald Bowen said.