Wash. woman tweets of crash death, finds out it's husband
SEATTLE — A Washington state woman who regularly monitors police scanner traffic unknowingly live-tweeted about her husband's death in a freeway crash.
In a series of gut-wrenching tweets on Wednesday that grew more frantic, the Vancouver, Wash., mother first tweeted how horrible it was when she learned someone had died on Interstate 205 near the Oregon border.
Caran Johnson, who uses the handle @ScanCouver, then told her Twitter followers that she was trying not to panic because her husband, who drives the freeway, wasn't picking up his phone and was late getting home.
“i'm a basketcase,” she tweeted.
Johnson also worried because her husband had epilepsy and was feeling faint when he left work early. She wondered whether he might have pulled over somewhere and fretted about how long she should wait for him before calling police.
As the events unfolded, she messaged Washington State Patrol spokesman Will Finn directly, asking whether he had descriptions of the vehicles involved in the collision. Finn said he didn't, but it struck him as odd so he began looking into the crash.
“I contacted the investigator and we put two and two together. I realized I had a situation on my hands,” Finn said.
Troopers later went to Johnson's home to tell her that her husband, 47-year-old Craig Johnson, had died.
Caran Johnson then tweeted: “it's him. he died.”
“It hits very close to home,” said Abbi Russell, a Washington Transportation Department spokeswoman who is familiar with tweets from @ScanCouver. “Yes, it is social media, but it is a community of its own.”
Finn said Craig Johnson's car crossed the median about 2 p.m. Wednesday and collided with another car on I-205 about 5 miles north of Portland, Ore. The other driver, Carol S. Shelley, 54, of Tacoma, suffered serious injuries and was taken to a hospital with broken bones and internal injuries, authorities said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Report: DEA prostitutes paid by cartel
- Feds arrest guardsman, cousin for terror plot on military facility
- Jackson Jr. leaves prison for halfway house
- $140M Picasso likely to set auction record
- Watchdog: Policy over visas broke, but not law
- Tractor-trailer hits construction beams over Interstate 35 in Texas
- Special operations troops are denied commercial intelligence analysis software for missions
- Balanced GOP budget blueprint nears Senate OK
- Damaged Jersey shore pier to be rebuilt
- Oklahomans devastated, yet grateful, amid twister cleanup
- Santorum: Obama opposition to fossil fuels ‘quasi-religious’