Woman severely injured in hit-and-run making improvements

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ATHENS, Ga. - An Athens grand jury indicted an accused drunk driver, who Athens-Clarke County police said hit and nearly killed a Cherokee County woman.

Emily Bowman, 20, is making small improvements but is still in the hospital four months after the accident.

This week, a grand jury indicted William Wilson Heaton, 22, on 13 counts, including driving under the influence of alcohol, serious injury by vehicle, and leaving the scene of an accident.

Tony Perrotta, Heaton's attorney, told Channel 2's Rachel Stockman, that "Mr. Heaton will be waiving formal arraignment and pleading not guilty to all charges."

"I'm glad this day finally got here, and I look forward to the arraignment. I look forward to the conviction, and I look forward to seeing him wave goodbye," Dale Bowman, Emily's father told Stockman.

Bowman underwent surgery on Friday, and is making some improvements. However, she is still in a wheelchair, and is unable communicate.

Emily's parents are drawing support from friends, family, and the thousands of online supporters, including Stacey Halstead.

Halstead's son, Tripp, suffered similar brain injuries, when he was hit in the head by a tree limb during Hurricane Sandy. This week, the two had a surprising meeting, at Children's Health Care of Atlanta Scottish Rite.

"I was like,  'Are you Stacy?' and she said, 'Yes,' I said, 'I'm Emily's mom,'" Debbie Bowman said.


Until then, Halstead and Bowman had only communicated online.

"It was really good to finally meet her, and to know we both have a lot of the same thing going on, so some good support is out there," Debbie Bowman said.