Man Held on $1M Bail in 100-mph Wrong-Way Wreck

Deadly crash killed a mother & her daughter

By Dan Stamm
|  Friday, Aug 9, 2013  |  Updated 8:23 PM EDT
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911 Calls From Merchantville Crash

NBC10.com

The Jan. 31, 2013 crash killed a mother and her daughter and injured two others including the driver accused of causing the wreck.

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A man is being held on $1 miliion bail after he was allegedly high on PCP and driving the wrong way when he struck and killed a mother and her teenage daughter earlier this year.

Keith Johnson, 31, was allegedly driving his Dodge Durango 100 mph in the wrong direction when he struck a Honda Odyssey driven by Anada Medina at the intersection of Chapel and Russell Avenues in Merchantville, N.J. on Jan. 31.

Medina, 36, and her 18-year-old daughter Stephanie Garcia, who was sitting in the passenger seat, both died from their injuries. The speed limit for the road is 25 mph.

Photos and Videos

Witness: Mother, Daughter Didn't Have a Chance

Witnesses talk about what they saw when an SUV traveling at 100 miles an hour, slammed into another car in Merchantville, New Jersey on Thursday.

911 Calls From Merchantville Crash

Audio from the first 911 calls from witnesses who reported a deadly crash in Merchantville, New Jersey on January 31, 2013. One driver is accused of going the wrong way, faster than 100 miles an hour. A mother and her 18-year-old daughter died.
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Johnson was arraigned for exceeding the speed limit, two counts of death by auto and a count of aggravated assault during his first court appearance in Camden County Friday afternoon.

Johnson and a passenger in his car, identified as Gervaise Pierre, 26, were both hurt in the violent wreck.

Since the violent wreck, Johnson, who hails from Pennsauken, has been recovering at a rehab facility at the state's prison, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Jason Laughlin said.

Johnson has finally recovered enough to appear in court Friday, Laughlin said.

Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk said in a press release that Johnson crossed into oncoming traffic right before wreck.

In 911 calls released following the crash, a caller describes the wreckage: “We saw the whole accident! Yeah, they are really hurt. This silver car came speeding out of nowhere and messed up (inaudible) on the wrong side of the road and everything.”

Prosecutors said that toxicology results showed that Johnson was on PCP, a drug the National Institute on Drug Abuse calls "dissociative," which distorts one’s perceptions of sight, sound and feeling.

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“He certainly felt remorse about the whole thing. You’d have to be not human not to,” Johnson's attorney Robert Simons said.

Garcia, a Cherry Hill High School West senior, was a writer for the school’s student newspaper. She wrote about her move to Cherry Hill Township just months earlier and how it gave her opportunities she had never received before.

Those opportunities were cut short by the crash that claimed Garcia and her mother’s life.

 


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