Former student dies in crash

Abbey Brown

Felix Owsley said he and his family should have spent Sunday eating cake and ice cream to celebrate his son’s 21st birthday. Instead, they spent the day at a funeral home in South Bend, Ind.

Derek Owsley died just before midnight Wednesday evening as he was driving from Bowling Green to South Bend.

He was studying journalism at Western but took this semester off.

Helene Kramer, director of public information for the Louisville Metro Police Department, said according to witness accounts, Owsley was traveling northbound in heavy rain, at a high speed, while in the slow lane of I-65 near the horse barns at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center.

As he was passing a car, witnesses said he appeared to lose control of his vehicle or fall asleep. He ran off the right side of the road, striking a guard rail and then spinning out into oncoming traffic. A 1999 Dodge Power Ram, driven by Andrew G. Eastman of Walker, Mich., then struck Owsley’s 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier, Kramer said.

Owsley was transported to University Hospital where he died of multiple injuries at 12:05 a.m. Thursday, said R.D. Jones, Jefferson County Deputy Coroner.

Felix Owsley said his son e-mailed him and his wife at 9:17 p.m. to say he was leaving Bowling Green to head home.

“He’d made that trip so many times,” Felix Owsley said.

Felix Owsley said his son lived for movies, music and church. He attended Lost River Christian Church.

“He mentioned being a (movie and music) reviewer at one point, but I guess we’ll never know,” he said.

His father described him as a funny and very caring person.

“He was shy at first, but once you got to know him, he was a ball of laughs,” his father said.

Owsley is survived by his father; mother, Susan Owsley; brother Brian Owsley, 37; sister, Maria Harding, 35; and cousins Cherri Goad, 18, and Zach Goad, 16.

The funeral was yesterday in South Bend. Donations can be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Reach Abbey Brown at [email protected].