Former Sealy News editor charged in fatal crash

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The former managing editor of The Sealy News was arrested and charged last Friday with intoxication manslaughter. The arrest came after she was involved in a collision which killed the driver of the other vehicle.

According to DPS reports, April Towery, 42 of Sealy, was driving at “a high rate of speed” when the 2015 Nissan Altima she was driving rear-ended a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee, causing the Jeep to roll four times.

The collision occurred about five miles north of Madisonville around 10 p.m. Friday, March 29.

The driver of the Cherokee, Bill “Shannon” Brewer, 55, of Madisonville, was ejected from the vehicle following the crash and died immediately. Two other passengers in the Cherokee survived.

“We didn’t find out about this until late last week,” said Sealy News Publisher Karen Lopez. “We’re devastated, not just for our staff, who’d worked with April for several years, but for the Brewer family. This is heartbreaking. Our prayers go out to them.”

Towery was let go from The Sealy News on Thursday, March 28.

Madison County officials took Towery into custody Friday afternoon. She was not immediately arrested following the incident because of her injuries, which were not life-threatening.

Brewer was not wearing a seatbelt, according to the DPS report.

Brewer’s sister, Heidi Ellis, 61, and Ellis’ 8-year-old granddaughter were also in the vehicle at the time and survived the crash. Ellis was airlifted to CHI St. Joseph Health in Bryan, where she was treated for her injuries.

According to Madison County Sheriff Travis Neely, Towery was charged with intoxication manslaughter with a motor vehicle, a second-degree felony that could result in 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Bail on the charge was set at $22,500. Towery was released from the Madison County Jail Friday.

Towery, who studied journalism at Texas A&M University, had worked for several area newspapers prior to becoming managing editor for The Sealy News in 2017. She worked for the Madisonville Meteor as managing editor from fall of 2015 to spring 2017. She also worked for the Navasota Examiner, the Huntsville Item and the Bryan-College Station Eagle prior to editing the News.

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