Wrong-way driver in fatal Phoenix freeway wreck allegedly was highly intoxicated
May 23, 2023, 12:53 PM | Updated: May 24, 2023, 7:37 am
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and Arizona Department of Transportation Photos)
PHOENIX — The driver accused of causing a fatal wrong-way crash on a Phoenix freeway over the weekend reportedly was highly intoxicated, according to court records.
Hospital testing showed Allen Michael Johnson had a blood alcohol content of .327%, more than four times the legal limit of .08%, according to the probable cause statement for his arrest.
Johnson, 34, was booked into jail on one count of second-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault after he was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon at the Chandler Regional Medical Center.
Bail for the Eloy resident was set at $1 million.
“He admitted to drinking, admitted to knowing he was going [the] wrong way and stated he didn’t feel impaired by the alcohol,” said the probable cause statement, which is submitted to court by the arresting officer.
Johnson allegedly was driving a car with his girlfriend and her two children west in the eastbound lanes of the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway when it collided with an SUV near 32nd Street around 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
A 10-year-old child in the rear seat was killed, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said. A woman in the passenger seat and a 5-year-old child in the back seat suffered serious injuries.
The SUV driver suffered severe injuries, including head trauma, and had no recollection of the collision.
DPS said five vehicles were involved in the wreck. Fire department responders had to use the “jaws of life” to extract one person.
Eastbound Loop 202 was closed at 24th Street for about five hours after the crash, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said the child who died was 12 years old, based on what was in the probable cause statement. DPS later confirmed that the child was 10.