On Tuesday, January 28 around 8:30 pm, The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit was requested by Milford Police Department to investigate a fatal crash that occurred earlier that evening. Jason Johnson, a 32-year-old Frederica man, lost his life in a tragic accident that included a tractor trailer on Route 1 just north of Milford.
According to police, a 2005 International Tractor with a fully loaded trailer of live chickens westbound on New Wharf Road as the truck came to a stop at the intersection with Route 1 northbound before accelerating across the northbound lanes. At this point, police state that the emergency air line supply to the trailer malfunctioned, locking the trailer wheels. This caused the truck and trailer to come to a stop in the roadway blocking the north bound lanes. The driver attempted to drag the trailer out of the road with the tractor, however, before he could do so, a 2000 Honda Civic being operated by Jason D. Johnson Jr., which was traveling northbound in the left lane of SR1, struck the trailer between the left rear tandem wheels. The Honda significantly under rode the trailer and sustained severe passenger compartment encroachment. Jason Johnson, who was properly restrained, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Jason, a graduate from Caesar Rodney High School in 1999, was a flooring specialist with J&D Carpets. According to his family, he enjoyed sports, especially basketball and football, and loved his kids.
“He could not go anywhere without telling people all about them, friends, family and complete strangers,” commented Jason’s brother-in-law William Davis. “It did not matter to him, he just wanted to tell everyone about them as he was so very very proud. I personally feel like his life really began when he became a husband and a father.”
Johnson’s 9 year old step daughter, who was properly restrained in the right rear seating position during the fatal accident, was removed from the scene by Emergency Medical Services and initially treated at Milford Memorial Hospital but later transferred to A.I. DuPont where she was listed in serious but stable condition.
Only days after the tragic accident, the Jason Johnson Memorial Fund was created so that friends and family could make contributions to support Jason’s wife and three young children on the online fundraising site YouCaring.com. His wife Elissa has been set up as the beneficiary on the fund, helping her to take care of their nine-year-old daughter, and two sons, ages 15 months and 3 weeks.
“Jason was never happier than when he was with his wife and children,” wrote Davis on the online site. “Jason’s love and devotion for his family continues to be an inspiration to all of us, and we are blessed to have known him.”
Less than one week after the tragic accident, community members have rallied around the family raising $4,521 through the online site alone. The campaign will continue online for fifty-six more day in hopes that donations will reach the proposed goal of $15,000. Individuals that wish to donate to the Jason Johnson Memorial fund can find more information at http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/the-jason-johnson-memorial-fund/132950#sthash.zAXsWXPr.dpuf.