September 18, 2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
Photograph link valid 30 days - Source: Columbia County Sheriff's Office
Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation into Monday afternoon's single vehicle traffic crash along Highway 47 about seven miles south of Vernonia that resulted in one person being seriously injured and the driver in custody after she was found two hours later. The names of the involved persons are released in this update.
According to Sergeant Luke Schwartz, on September 17, 2012 at approximately 4:37 p.m. a single vehicle crash was reported on Highway 47 about two miles north of L. L. "Stub" Stewart State Park. Upon arrival, police and fire personnel found a seriously injured female and learned the female driver fled the scene on foot. LifeFlight responded to the scene and transported the injured female passenger, identified as SARAH E. LELOFF, age 32, from Vernonia, to Oregon Health & Science University where she was in serious condition.
OSP troopers with the assistance of officers from Washington County Sheriff's Office, Columbia County Sheriff's Office and Vernonia Police Department investigated the crash and located the female driver about two hours later after citizens called to report a suspicious person was hiding in the area. Oregon State Parks personnel opened access to area trails where the driver was found walking by an OSP trooper.
JULIE ANNA MARIA JOHNSON, age 26, from Vernonia, was taken into custody and and lodged in the Columbia County Jail on the following charges:
* Felony Hit & Run - Injury
* Misdemeanor Hit & Run - Property Damage
* Reckless Driving
* Recklessly Endangering Another Person
* Assault in the Fourth Degree
* Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree
JOHNSON was not injured.
Preliminary investigation indicates a 1990 Honda Accord occupied by the two females was southbound when it traveled onto the shoulder. JOHNSON lost control and the car rolled and collided with a pole before coming to rest. Neither were using safety restraints.
Highway 47 was closed two hours during the crash investigation. OSP was also assisted at the scene by Vernonia Fire Department and ODOT.