Big Country Families Still Healing after Major Truck Accident

It's been a little over a year and half since a major accident turned the lives of several Big Country families upside down.

On July 3, 2009, five people were injured in a major traffic accident including a small child who was thrown from the truck.

Abilene Police say Jason Serafine had been driving under the influence with his wife and three stepchildren in the vehicle. According to the crash report, witnesses saw Serafine fail to stop at a stop sign, causing his truck to crash into an 18-wheeler heading northbound on Highway 277.

The children's father, Jim Ed Cowen, says getting the call that his three young children had been in a major accident was the worst moment for him and his wife, Savanna Cowen.

"It's just as devastating now as it was the day it happened, I was the only mother figure there when they were hurt I was there when Mistie got home from the hospital and when she would wake up at night screaming in pain, no one should have to watch their kids go through that," said Savanna.

Their biological mother, Crystal Serafine, shares joint custody of the children. The Cowens say after the accident they filed for full custody but were unable to get it. Serafine's ex-wife, Shannon Carroll, says she shares the Cowen's concern for a child's safety while staying with Jason Serafine.

"My son's going to be in the vehicle with him all the time and that this accident could happen and the fact it would have to take something drastic before anybody's going to see that this man's not going to change," said Carroll.

Jared Cowen (only seven at the time) was thrown through the back window and spent several days in a local hospital. His younger siblings were flown to Cook Children's Health Care System where they stayed for six weeks.

Mistie Cowen almost paralyzed on one side of her face, had reconstructive surgery and little Wesley Cowen took even more time to recover.

"He had glass back behind his left eye...he's had to have two surgeries to remove pieces of glass," said Savanna.

Last year Serafine was charged with two counts of Intoxicated Assault for the accident. On Friday a Taylor County judge sentenced Serafine to six years probation, suspended his license, issued him 30 days in jail and ordered breath locks on their vehicles, as well as random drug testing. However their father says that isn't nearly enough.

"I'm glad something happened I mean everything's gotta have a reaction to what happens I mean but I was really hoping for something a little more," said Jim Ed.

Over a year a half after later emotions still run high for the Cowens.

"(We're) angry that they really haven't taken responsibility for it that they are still even when we were in court saying it was an accident, they're still trying to blame it on the truck driver," added the Cowens.

Crystal Serafine did not want to comment about the story and numerous attempts were made to contact Jason Serafine. All those calls went unanswered.

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