Car Accident Kills Teenager en Route to Brother’s Funeral

Car Accident Kills Teenager en Route to Brother's FuneralA Tucson, Arizona man may soon face charges for his alleged role in a crash that took the lives of two teenagers on Saturday, February 25.

According to KVOA News, Ivy Michelle Johnson was killed after the car she was driving was involved in a crash with another vehicle on Interstate 10 near Benson. The Department of Public Safety said the 18-year-old woman was on her way to Wilcox when the other car, driven by Michael Messer, an airman at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, allegedly collided with two cars. Johnson was said to be wearing her seatbelt during the crash, and was airlifted to University Medical Center.

Officer Quentin Mehr told the news provider the accident occurred at about 12:33 a.m., when Johnson’s Chevy sedan was allegedly hit by Messer’s Dodge passenger car. Messer was held by police after the incident, as impairment was thought to be a contributing factor in the case.

Laura Rodriguez, a family friend, stated that Johnson was on her way to Wilcox to attend her 17-year-old brother’s funeral, which was set for Saturday.

“I know that the family was very distraught then. And with this just being on top of it… It’s just compounded everything,” she said. Johnson was described as “the sweetest girl you would ever know. She didn’t have a mean bone in her body.”

Rodriguez told the news provider that Johnson suffered significant damage to her brain and a lacerated liver, but that some of her organs were still able to be donated.

Now, charges of impairment are pending against 24-year-old Messer, who is an airman 1st class from the base’s 355th Component Maintenance Squadron. Officials at the base told the news source Messer will not be detained until he has been formally charged. Once an investigation has been completed, the case will be sent to the Cochise County Attorney’s Office, according to the media outlet.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 5,489 alcohol-related crashes in the state in 2010, resulting in the death of 223 people. Drunk driving accidents made up 5.17 percent of all accidents that year, and accounted for 29.27 percent of all fatalities.

Economic loss due to alcohol-related crashes amounted to $416,311,470 in 2010.