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Grandson of FSU legend killed in tragic wreck

For the last few weeks, fans of the Florida State University Seminoles have been reveling in the football team's victory over Auburn to clinch the national championship.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the only FSU-related storyline to grab headlines over the holiday season, as sports fans around the state and across the nation were shocked to learn that the grandson of one of the school's legendary football figures was involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident in central Florida.

According to preliminary reports from the Polk County Sherriff's Office, a 911 call was placed back on the morning of Dec. 27 by a trash collector who indicated that he had seen a sedan submerged in a five-foot ditch alongside a road on his route.

Emergency responders -- including paramedics, sheriff's deputies and the sheriff's dive team -- were immediately dispatched to the scene of a single car accident, where a preliminary observation lead officials to believe that the car had somehow managed to cross to the other side of the road, crash through a fence and drop into the ditch.

While rescue officials conducted an immediate search of the vehicle, which had its front end completely underwater and back end only partially submerged, they were able to locate no survivors. However, three hours later, responders heard groaning from the back seat and shortly thereafter dive team members discovered a 22-year-old man who had somehow managed to keep his head above water.

The young man was evacuated to an area hospital for treatment for minor injuries and hypothermia, and is expected to survive. Unfortunately, dive team members also discovered two other fatalities in the front seats of the car while rescuing him.

One of these fatalities was the 23-year-old grandson of former FSU coach Bobby Bowden, who won two national championships for the Seminoles, and currently holds the all-time record for career wins and bowl victories in NCAA Division I football.

"Our whole family had just celebrated Christmas together in Panama City, as well as celebrated [my grandson's] graduation from Florida State just three weeks ago," said Bowden in a released statement. "We will cherish those last memories together ... forever."

A final report on the fatal car wreck is still pending. However, after speaking with friends and family, sheriff's deputies believe alcohol was probably a factor.

If you have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another here in Florida, consider speaking with an experienced attorney to learn more about your options.

Source: Florida Today, "Bobby Bowden's grandson killed in crash; one survives horrific accident," Dec. 27, 2013

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