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Posted: 6:56 p.m. Monday, March 11, 2013

Alleged hit-and-run driver released from Athens jail

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Alleged hit-and-run driver released from Athens jail photo
William Heaton, 22, is accused in a hit-and-run in Athens that critically injured 19-year-old Emily Bowman.
Emily Bowman, of Woodstock photo
Channel 2 Action News
Emily Bowman, 19, was critically injured when she was hit from behind by a hit and run driver in Athens on Feb. 16, 2013.

By Alexis Stevens

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The man accused of critically injuring a 19-year-old while driving drunk was released from the Athens-Clarke County jail Monday.

William Wilson Heaton, 22, of Bartow County, must now wear an ankle monitor after posting $50,000 bond. Heaton faces several charges for allegedly hitting Emily Bowman on Feb. 16 as she walked with friends, according to police.

Heaton, of Rydal, did not stop after hitting Bowman, but his pickup truck was located at a nearby apartment complex, authorities said. He turned himself into police last week and faces six charges, including felony hit-and-run, DUI and serious injury by motor vehicle.

Bowman, of Woodstock, faced life-threatening injuries, but continues to recover, according to her family and doctors. She underwent emergency brain surgery to have a portion of her skull removed within hours of being hit and remained in a coma until last week.

After spending nearly three weeks at Athens Regional Medical Center, Bowman was moved Friday to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

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