EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Mayfield High wrestler who was hailed as a hero for preventing a toddler’s kidnapping in 2020, was killed Wednesday night in a motorcycle wreck in Las Cruces.

According to the Las Cruces Police Department, 18-year-old Canaan Bower was killed after his motorcycle struck a car.

On March 9, 2022, at approximately 8:30pm, Las Cruces Police Department Officers responded to a motor vehicle crash in the 2000 block of South Triviz.    

Officers learned a motorcyclist was traveling south on Triviz and collided with a vehicle turning north onto Triviz.  The motorcyclist was unresponsive and succumbed to his injuries at the scene of the crash. 

LAS CRUCES POLICE DEPARTMENT

Canaan Bowers mother, Kara Bower, sharing the news of her son’s passing in a post on Facebook.

“We are overwhelmed with sadness, but feel compelled to share with the world as he was loved my many. Last night Canaan was killed in a motorcycle accident. Canaan lived life to the fullest, and loved with his whole heart. He will be forever missed,” Kara Bower wrote.

Bower was honored in 2020 for his quick thinking and action in stopping an assault and kidnapping attempt of a 2-year-old

According to court documents obtained by KTSM, a woman and her three children – ages nine, two, and one — had just gotten off a Greyhound bus at the Chucky’s Convenience Store located at 800 Thorpe Road when Beltran began staring at her.

After several attempts to get him to stop, he allegedly lunged at her 2-year-old and grabbed her. The young mother fell backward onto her back, where her 1-year-old child was strapped in a carrier.

Bower…who recently placed first in the District Wrestling Championship, was across the street getting gas at another convenience store and sprang into action. He rushed into the store and quickly used wrestling maneuvers to pin Beltran to the floor, where he held him for several minutes until Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived.

KTSM News story: Terrifying kidnapping attempt foiled by Mayfield HS wrestling champ

Following the incident, Bower’s story went viral, and was featured on USA Wrestling and tweeted by President of UFC Dana White, UFC fighter Jorge Masvidal and Mario Lopez.

At the time, Bower’s father shared video of the incident.

Shortly after his heroics, Bower was honored by the Doña Ana Board of Commissioners and celebrated “April 14, 2020 ‘Canaan Bower Day of Valor.”

Dona Ana County Commissioner for district five Manny Sanchez saying Bower will be remembered for his heroic act.

“You couldn’t help but be impressed, there was no hesitation and then to find out it was from only from a high school student, it was just amazing,” said Sanchez

A friend and former co-worker of Bowers saying even though he was a home-town hero, he was always humble.

“Sometimes people would recognize him and they were like wow you were the guy who did that and saved those kids. And he was real humble about it and said yeah, yeah that was me,” said Mike Gray, one of Bowers former co-workers.

Another former co-worker and friend, Frank Baca describing who he was as a person.

“The impact that he made when he just walked into a room, asking people how they were and actually taking time to know each and every one of us was something that really made him one of my friends ,” said Frank Baca.

His High School Wrestling Coach Bill Hawkins speaking about his heroic act.

On the day that it occurred, his dad called me and asked, “Did you hear what Canaan did?” I immediately had visions of him trying to jump his truck across a ditch, or doing handstands on his skateboard, but as Troy explained what he had done I realize it was more amazing than anything I could have imagined! So I called Canaan…I said, “Hello Canaan,” and he responded in kind. So I asked him “what’s going on?” and he responded, “Not much….” Then proceeded to describe the entire Chucky’s episode in such a calm, reserved manner it was like he was describing any other routine event of the day! We often talked about it, and the local and national attention he was getting, and he was always extremely low keyed about it.

Being his coach, I was anxious about if the effects of the attention would spill over into his efforts on
the wrestling mat, and I soon found out that anxiety was indeed unfounded—Canaan was EXACTLY the
same person after the event, after the attention, that he was before it happened: A truly gentle,
humble, honorable young man that was always a pleasure to be around. I will miss him dearly, he was a
great young man.

Bill Hawkins, Canaan Bowers High School Wrestling Coach

Officials with LCPD’s Traffic Section responded to the accident, and say the crash is still under investigation.

Canaan Bower, with his parents in 2020 after being honored by DAC Board of Commissioners for his actions in preventing a toddler’s kidnapping.

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