Heartbreaking: Woman Live-Tweets Fatal Car Crash Before Realizing It Killed Her Husband

Tragic.

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A Washington state woman who avidly tweets local news as it unfolds in her hometown of Vancouver was live-tweeting a fatal car crash Wednesday before learning that her husband was a victim.

It began at 2:11 p.m. PST when Caran Johnson retweeted the Columbian Metrodesk’s coverage about the accident, keeping her followers updated.

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At first Johnson was critical of the incident:

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But soon after learning about the fatality, Johnson began to worry.

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She began tweeting at Trooper William Finn, a spokesman with the Washington State Patrol who was at the scene of the crash, to see if he had descriptions of the cars involved. They had interacted online before regarding traffic incidents and once exchanging the recipe for a low-carb pizza.

“Immediately, I went into overdrive mode and I stopped tweeting the whole thing,” Finn told CNN. While he would normally tweet out an image of the wreck, this time was an exception. “I didn’t want someone to find out over Twitter that their husband passed away. I didn’t want her to find out that way. That is a hard thing to go through.”

Johnson continued tweeting her concern:

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And finally, at 3:50 pm, Johnson confirmed the worst.

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Johnson thanked followers offering condolences and assured them that she is surrounded by family. Even in her time of mourning, she is still helping spread breaking news to her community: early Thursday morning she retweeted pictures of a missing infant.

 

16 comments
opine
opine

When the authorities tweet photos of accidents, aren't they risking loved ones of victims finding out that way? In this case, the officer didn't tweet a photo because he knew the spouse of one of the victims, but he can't know when he tweets photos of other accidents that there aren't people out there finding out via Twitter that their loved ones have been in a horrible accident.

Just because we have the ability to use technology to make absolutely everything available to the world instantly doesn't mean we always should. Perhaps safety workers and government officials should have more restraints on their instant communications, especially visuals, to the world. We can all see the photos after family members have been contacted. The world won't end and our lives won't be ruined if instant gratification is not the goal regarding absolutely everything.

tfgmg
tfgmg

there is much to be desired in the reporting of this.  That's an issue the public has with it's press. 

baldwin.johnm
baldwin.johnm

Ok, anyone else thinking that instead of an article saying "Worst nightmare confirmed: Locked inside a plane" there should have been one saying "Worst nightmare confirmed: Live-tweeting your husband's death"..........?!?! Seriously, it doesn't get much worse than this...

ross1776
ross1776

Unbelieveable, and as a boomer really, really miss the 60's and 70's....this tech generation are way more self-destructive, and have been exposed to so much violence and death, even more so than ours, that nothing surprises or shocks them really anymore....but tweeting after learning your husband died in a car crash.  Just how "married" were they, because even in shock, I doubt I would be tweeting.....or anyone I know, for that matter.

tiff1212
tiff1212

She probably feels connected in some way to her followers on Twitter.  It's just so tough to say how any of us would react, but really - is there a right or wrong way to respond to something so devastating?  It had to be surreal for her.  Nothing but compassion for this family.  Tragic.

KarenWall
KarenWall

Everyone handles grief and shock differently. Would I do this? No. But you are not her so don't be so quick to judge. 

cscaley1
cscaley1

Unbelievable.  She finds out her husband is dead but still keeps on tweeting.  It's a true pathology.  Her husband was probably texting while driving.

KingPCGeek
KingPCGeek

You just found out that your husband died, and one of the first things you think to do is to Tweet about it?

JhonatanDíaz
JhonatanDíaz

Oh! That is so sad... I can not explain what I feel.. Just imagining the face of her... This post made me sad.

BB91103
BB91103

@ross1776 So you are saying she didn't love him that much because she tweeted? Perhaps she needed some comforting and perhaps she did not have anyone close she can go to so the public (Twitter followers) were the ones who stepped up. What a closed minded way of thinking you have. Sad.

baldwin.johnm
baldwin.johnm

@tiff1212 You're right, when I shared my pregnancy on my stupid Bakery Story on my husband's iphone, every one of my friends was super excited for me--they literally felt like extended family even though they were just friends on a game. It's silly, but you DO get really connected to some people.

Fael
Fael

@cscaley1   if you read the article it said he left work feeling faint; perhaps he had a medical issue....  your judgmentalism about her "pathology" is really uncalled for... 

baldwin.johnm
baldwin.johnm

@JhonatanDíaz That would be my worst nightmare...I'd just be waiting to wake up from a dream that only my mind could create.

Denesius
Denesius

@BB91103 @ross1776 My comment would be: How sad, how pathetic, that for comfort at the loss of a loved one, she turns to technology, social media, and twitter followers. So instead of crying on familiar shoulders, she seeks solace in the attention of strangers. I think this is sadder than the story of her loss.

PinprickSociety
PinprickSociety

@Fael @cscaley1 It's easier to point a finger than it is to lend a helping hand. There are too many possibilities for what might have occurred from the time she learned the news until the time she tweeted that her husband had died. Therefore, it should be very difficult to judge. In any case, people shouldn't be so quick to judge. After all, if one is going to show absolutely no remorse for the man who died by accusing him of "probably texting while driving" in such a cold way, and then labeling the mourning wife with "pathology," what does that say about them?


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