Emily Bowman was hospitalized with brain injuries.
William Wilson Heaton (Photo: OnlineAthens.com)
ATHENS, Ga. -- 22-year-old William Wilson Heaton Jr. was granted a $50,000 bond on Thursday after turning himself in on Wednesday evening.
Heaton is charged with the February 16 hit and run accident in Athens, which seriously injured Kennesaw State University student Emily Bowman.
Heaton is charged with Hit and Run, DUI, Serious Injury by Vehicle, Failure to Maintain Lane, Reckless Driving, and Open Container. He has been ordered to wear a GPS tracking device as part of his bond.
11Alive has learned Heaton has had prior misdemeanor convictions in Athens-Clarke County, including two separate incidents of violating open container laws.
Heaton's lawyer said previously he will turn himself in once an arrest warrant was issued.
Emily Bowman's parents said last month their daughter had gone to Athens to celebrate a friend's birthday that Friday night. She was walking in the grass along Oak Street just after 3 a.m. Saturday to turn in for the night, when a red Mazda pickup went off the road and hit her from behind.
Bowman was rushed to Athens Regional Medical Center where her parents said she was on life support. According to Emily's father, Dale, she had a broken pelvis, nose, was unconscious, and for the most part, unresponsive.
Bowman said doctors have already removed a large piece of his daughter's skull to help with the swelling, which a recent CAT scan shows stabilizing.
Police found the truck they believe was involved in the crash abandoned a few blocks down the road. Investigators said there were empty beer bottles inside the cab and truck bed.
Tatiana Martinez, who has been one of Emily Bowman's best friends since they were four years old, said Bowman was "the funniest person I've ever met. She's one of the friends that you know will be there for the rest of your life. We talk every single day."
Martinez thought for a moment about whoever was behind the wheel in the crash.
"I just want him to know what he did and how many people he's hurt. And that's just another reason why people shouldn't drink and drive. That's why Emily wasn't. That's why she chose to walk," she said.