The southbound vehicle fled the scene, but debris left behind led investigators to suspect a Nissan sedan was involved. Tips from the public helped detectives track down the car, which was located Feb. 22 in Vancouver’s Truman neighborhood, the sheriff’s office said.
Adams suffered two shattered legs, a broken left arm, back and ribs, and a head laceration, his mother said. He was in a coma for nearly 2½ weeks, Peterson said, and has bruising all over his body.
“All he’s done is screamed out and cried and cried in pain. I’ve been fighting back tears trying to help him,” she said.
His 10-year-old son, Vincent, has spent most days at the hospital. He gave his dad his favorite stuffed animal to bring him some comfort.
“I try to distract myself with things like TV,” Vincent said.
Peterson told media Friday afternoon that she nearly fainted when she learned that Johnson’s mother, Shaun Johnson, was involved in a vehicle-versus-pedestrian crash.
“The thought that these two have done this to two innocent people is unbelievable,” Peterson said. “I’ve had to sit in here and comfort my son, hold his hand and hear him say his life is over. He is only 34 years old. And what this man has taken away from him is just unforgivable.”
In February, Shaun Johnson, 50, was found guilty by a jury for a second time of vehicular assault after an earlier conviction and a conviction for methamphetamine possession were overturned by a state appeals court in July. She was sentenced to three years in prison — the same sentence she received following her first vehicular assault trial and conviction.
Shaun Johnson struck then-16-year-old Justin Carey on June 10, 2013, as he waited for a school bus along Northeast 82nd Avenue. He was found later, lying in the bushes, by a tow truck driver. His injuries led to the amputation of his lower right leg.
Carey’s mother, Janette Chumley, said in a phone interview that she was “shocked” to hear the news.
“It’s such a close circumstance. I’m very sad for Paul’s family. We know what they’re going through, exactly what they’re going through,” Chumley said.
“You always hope for the best,” she added. “We met (Joshua Johnson) after sentencing in 2015, and he was clean and doing really well. When we met Joshua, he was very apologetic and told us he was clean for 18 months. We’ve talked to friends of his who said he was going down that road again, and it broke our hearts for him and his family.”
Peterson said her son has no memory of the weeks before the crash and can’t remember why he was walking in that area. Adams had just lost his vehicle a few days prior, she said, which was why he was on foot when he was struck.
She said Joshua Johnson called Adams at the hospital a couple of weeks ago.
“He said, ‘This is Josh Johnson, and I’m the man who hit you. First, I need to know if you’re going to live or if you’re going to die,’” Peterson recalled.
A Gofundme account has been set up for Paul Adams:
Adams told him he is going to live, and then Johnson apologized, Peterson said, and he said he plans to turn himself in after he gets his affairs in order. He also reportedly told Adams that he wants to come to the hospital and shake his hand — a gesture he shared with Justin Carey after Shaun Johnson’s first sentencing.
“He better not come to this hospital,” Peterson said. “I don’t want him at this hospital after the damage he’s done to my son.”
Joshua Johnson is described as 5-foot-8-inches tall, 175 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information on Johnson’s location is asked to call 911 or report any tips to Deputy Todd Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When asked if she had a message for Johnson, Peterson said, “I hate you. Why didn’t you stop? My son really almost died out there. I can understand an accident, but you stop. You check on that person. You don’t just run.
“If you know where he’s at, anybody, please turn him in.”