Four months after a vehicle struck Justin Carey in Battle Ground and left him with two broken legs, the alleged driver faced a Clark County judge Monday on suspicion of vehicular assault and possession of methamphetamine.
Shaun C. Johnson, 46, of Vancouver is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 1 on the charges.
Justin, 16, had to have his right leg amputated at the knee as a result of his injuries.
He watched Monday in the courtroom’s public gallery as Johnson appeared in blue jail clothes and shackles to hear the accusations against her and have her bail set.
“It was a little nerve-wracking because I haven’t seen her before,” Justin said after the hearing.
Johnson is accused of driving under the influence of methamphetamine June 10 as she headed southbound on Northeast 82nd Avenue toward her workplace. En route, she said, she dropped her lit cigarette onto the floor and removed her seat belt to bend down and retrieve it, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court. Just south of the intersection of Northeast 289th Street and Northeast 82nd Avenue, Johnson’s 2006 Nissan Altima veered off the road and struck Justin as he was waiting for the school bus, according to the affidavit. The impact flung Justin into the bushes, fractured both of his legs and severed an artery in the right leg.
Paramedics responded to the scene to transport Johnson, whose arm was broken in the collision, to the hospital. She never mentioned that she had hit someone with her car, and the emergency responders didn’t see the boy because he was concealed by bushes. A tow trucker driver found him more than 90 minutes later.
Johnson denied that she knew that she struck Justin during the collision, according to the affidavit. While paramedics were treating her, sheriff’s Deputy Tim Gosch retrieved her driver’s license from her purse as part of the collision report. While looking for the license, he found two small bags of methamphetamine, the affidavit says.
Justin said he’s relieved that Johnson is finally being prosecuted, but said, “it doesn’t change anything.”
His mother, Janette Chumley, said that Justin wants Johnson to receive drug treatment for her methamphetamine use.
“It’s been a little bit of mixed emotions,” Chumley said. “I’m glad she’s being held accountable for hitting him.”
Clark County Superior Court Judge David Gregerson set bail at $35,000. Johnson has hired Vancouver attorney Todd Pascoe to defend her against the charges.
Johnson has a criminal history of methamphetamine possession in 1999 and a minor in possession of alcohol in 1985, both in Washington.