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Man admits hitting woman in north Spokane hit-and-run fatality, police say

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 15, 2017, 9:55 p.m.

Bobby Bowerman initially denied he struck a pedestrian while driving his truck Saturday in north Spokane, according to police.

But after being confronted with inconsistencies in his story, police said, the 36-year-old admitted to hitting Melissa L. Tolliver, who was reportedly walking across East Holland Avenue near the Newport Highway en route to Burger King.

According to police, Bowerman said: “That’s exactly what happened” when investigators accused him of not stopping his 2011 Nissan Titan to render aid after allegedly hitting Tolliver, 42, who died at the scene. “I did it.”

Bowerman said he “panicked” after hitting the woman and drove around contemplating suicide, according to a police report. He later penned an apology letter, and an excerpt of that letter was included in the police report.

“I’ve never had to do this and it brings tears to my eyes that my son has a messed up father who killed an innocent human,” Bowerman wrote.

According to witnesses, Tolliver was walking south in a marked crosswalk around 8:35 p.m. before she was struck by a eastbound truck which failed to yield and appeared to accelerate after the collision.

Tolliver, a mother of two, died of blunt head, chest and abdominal injuries, the Spokane County Medical Examiner ruled.

Around 11 p.m. Sunday, an officer noticed a truck in north Spokane matching the description by witnesses that also had front body damage that appeared consistent with the collision.

The man driving the truck, identified as Bowerman, told authorities his truck’s damage was sustained earlier in the day while parked at a Garth Brooks concert, according to the police report.

When Bowerman was asked what he was doing Saturday night, he told officers he was in Hayden with a woman he’d met on a dating site. Bowerman told police he was with the woman from around 6:30 p.m. and returned home at 10 p.m.

According to police, officers did a Boss System camera scan to confirm the last time Bowerman’s license plates had been in Idaho. Dispatch told officers that a vehicle with Bowerman’s plates hadn’t been in Idaho since Sept. 2.

Police did not note if Bowerman was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or whether he was distracted when he struck Tolliver, according to reports.

Bowerman was charged with vehicle hit-and-run death on Tuesday.


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