Former Meteor editor charged in fatal crash


April Towery of Sealy, 42, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter after colliding with the rear of a family’s SUV on Highway 75 near Madisonville last Friday night at 10 p.m., according to DPS Troopers.

Towery was driving a 2015 Nissan Altima and collided with the family’s 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee at a high speed. She was not immediately arrested following the incident because of her injuries, which were not life-threatening.

The accident resulted in the immediate death of the SUV’s driver Bill “Shannon” Brewer of Madisonville, 55, who was ejected from the vehicle following the crash and was not wearing a seatbelt.

His sister Heidi Ellis, 61, was airlifted to CHI St. Joseph Health in Bryan, where she was treated for her injuries and survived. Ellis’ 8-year-old granddaughter also survived the incident in which the Jeep reportedly rolled over four times.

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

As reported in the Meteor on Wednesday, Ellis and her husband, who was recovering from a stroke, own Rockin Bar E Leather in Madisonville.

Towery, who studied journalism at Texas A&M University, was employed by the Madisonville Meteor as managing editor from fall of 2015 to the spring 2017. She also worked for the Navasota Examiner, the Huntsville Item and the Bryan-College Station Eagle prior to working for the Meteor. Most recently, she was the managing editor of the Sealy News.

The Sealy News is a sister publication to the Madisonville Meteor.