Disastrous Whidbey Island car chase propelled by Four Loko
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
August 13, 2012 · Updated 4:24 PM
A 33-year-old man who was intoxicated on a brand of alcohol called Four Loko was seriously injured in June after stealing a car parked at a North Whidbey gas station and causing a three-car accident during a car chase, court documents show.
John Johnson is facing a long list of charges in Island County Superior Court, including theft of a motor vehicle, DUI, reckless driving, possession of a legend drug and driving while license suspended.
An Oak Harbor resident Jordan Burns reported that he and his fiance were in a gas station on Ault Field Road when they heard the man’s car — which the woman had been borrowing — start up and drive off. He jumped into his car and gave chase.
Burns chased the car on Oak Harbor Road. Burns reported that the thief drove erratically and was traveling up to 100 miles an hour when he crossed the centerline, hitting another car head-on. The impact propelled the stolen car into a third car.
The alleged car thief, later identified as Johnson, tried to flee on foot, but was stopped by Burns and an accident victim, according to a report by Oak Harbor Police Officer Manuel Silveira.
The driver of the one of the cars involved in the collision had to be extracted and transported to the hospital.
The officer arrested Johnson at the scene. He noted that Johnson’s breath smelled of alcohol, he had four pills in his pocket and an open can of “Four Loko,” a malt beverage, in his coat.
Johnson was evaluated at the scene by emergency medical technicians, who advised that he was not injured and refusing medical treatment for small cuts on his forehead. Silveira was going to take Johnson to the hospital for a blood draw related to DUI, but stopped at the jail on the way because Johnson had to use the bathroom. Johnson collapsed at the jail and faded in and out of consciousness.
The officers called an ambulance to the jail. Johnson was transported to Whidbey General Hospital, where a doctor determined he was suffering from severe internal injuries. He was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for surgery.
Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at email@example.com or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.