Witness interviews reveal moments before crash that killed JSO bailiff
Cathy Adams' husband, Jack, who is an officer, was seriously hurt
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Witnesses of a deadly crash told St. Johns County deputies that they witnessed a woman's car swerving and speeding in the moments leading up to the wreck that killed a bailiff with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and injured her husband, a police officer.
Kim Johnson, 47, was arrested after the crash and charged with vehicular manslaughter and DUI. She was held on a $125,000 bond. According to deputies, her blood alcohol concentration level was .126 when it was measured seven hours after the crash.
On Friday, News4Jax obtained audio interviews with two witnesses who were first on the scene who did what they could to help Jack and Cathy Adams until law enforcement and rescue crews arrived. Chris Snyder said he could hear Jack Adams yelling for help.
"He (Jack Adams) gave me his name, his profession, and my whole purpose was to keep him talking coherent until EMS could arrive and take control of the situation," Snyder said.
Snyder helped Jack Adams while another witness stayed by Cathy Adams' side until paramedics arrived. Detective Thomas Evans made sure the couple's two teenage children, who were traveling with their parents, were cared for.
"My focus was to get them (the children) away from the scene so they didn't have to see mom on one side, dad on the other," Evans said.
Some first responding officers, including Cmdr. Gregory Beaver, said Johnston smelled of alcohol.
"She turned to me and said, 'I don't know what happened, and I don't know what to do,'" Beaver said. "The odor of alcohol coming from that woman's breath was horrendous."
Four days after Johnston's arrest, her mother, Barbara Johnston, was interviewed by investigators with the State Attorney's Office. The interview was included in the materials obtained by News4Jax.
Investigator: "There's texting on there from Lori to Kim's phone we observed saying she got sick."
Barbara Johnston: "Kim told me she had four beers there and that they also shared cheese fries."
Barbara Johnston said Lori is one of her daughter's best friends and that they were at a restaurant and bar together on the night of the crash. She's later heard saying during the interview:
Barbara Johnston: "Lori told me, also, she had been doing shots."
Barbara Johnston told investigators her daughter drinks beer on occasion. She was then asked what Kim Johnston told her about the crash.
Barbara Johnston: "She told me she didn’t remember anything from the time she left the Ale House until the time the crash occurred."
Jack Adams was seriously injured in the crash. News4Jax was told he has a long road to a full recovery.
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