Evelyn Delores Nowell

A woman charged with vehicular homicide receives a five-year sentence.  In November 2018, 73-year-old Evelyn Delores Nowell of Cedartown was charged in connection to a fatal, three-vehicle crash that occurred on I- 75 in Bartow County.  Nowell was charged with vehicular homicide, driving under the influence and improper stopping on roadway. 

Appearing in jailhouse clothing and with braids in her hair, Nowell entered a guilty plea before Judge Jeff Watkins Tuesday morning.  She received a 5-year sentence with 12 months to serve incarcerated and the remainder on probation.  She has been in jail since the accident and will receive credit for crime served.  She must pay fines and perform community service.  Nowell may not have a driver’s license while on probation. 

According to Georgia State Patrol reports, a 2013 Chevrolet Impala was stopped in the right lane on the northbound side of Interstate 75 at the Groovers Landing overpass around 11:55 p.m. Nov. 18. Nowell was driving under the influence. She improperly stopped in the Impala in the roadway.  Nowell said she stopped, thinking the vehicle had run out of gas.  Records indicate the vehicle was not out of gas.

The second vehicle, a tractor-trailer, was traveling in the right lane when it swerved to the left to avoid the Chevrolet. In that maneuver, the tractor-trailer hit the left side of the Chevrolet, left the east side of the roadway and struck a 2003 Honda Accord.  The Honda was parked in the east side emergency lane. The tractor-trailer pushed the Honda into the guardrail, barreled through the guardrail, and the Honda came to a final rest in the right lane facing westbound. The tractor-trailer came to a stop on top of the Honda.

A passenger inside the Honda, identified as 56-year-old Bobbie Whitman of Emerson, was pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver 49-year-old Robert Whitman, also of Emerson, was transported to WellStar Kennestone Hospital with serious injuries.  An eight-year-old in the car was uninjured.  The driver of the tractor-trailer, was not injured in the collision.

All agree that Nowell did not strike Whitman’s vehicle, however intoxication and stopping n the middle of the road were factors.  The tractor trailer driver’s conduct was also a problem.  It appeared that the driver only slowed or attempted to stop his vehicle at the very last minute.