Docs: Wrong-way drunk driver was 4X the legal limit; charged in deadly Loop 202 crash

Court docs said Allen Johnson's blood alcohol content was over four times the legal limit.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 5:26 PM MST|Updated: May. 23, 2023 at 3:23 PM MST
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AHWATUKEE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A wrong-way driver has been taken into custody after allegedly driving extremely impaired after causing a crash that left a child dead and several others hurt in Ahwatukee over the weekend, troopers say. Allen Michael Johnson was arrested and booked into jail.

On Sunday around 5 p.m., DPS says Johnson was driving westbound in the eastbound lanes on the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway near 24th Street with his girlfriend and her two kids inside. He then struck another woman’s car, causing a five-car pileup. The two children inside Johnson’s car, a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl, and their mother were rushed to the hospital. On Monday, DPS confirmed the 10-year-old boy died. The 5-year-old girl remains in critical condition. The woman struck by Johnson and his girlfriend are still in the hospital, DPS says.

Court documents obtained by Arizona’s Family said that Johnson admitted to drinking before the wreck and knew he was going the wrong way but didn’t feel “impaired” by the alcohol. A blood draw from the hospital revealed that he had a blood alcohol content level of .327, a level just over four times the legal limit of 0.08. In Arizona, however, drivers can be charged with a DUI regardless of BAC.

Michael Schwab is among the witnesses still haunted by the horrific crash. “I saw one of the worst crashes in my life,” he said. However, Schwab says he’s grateful for the good Samaritans that jumped into action to direct traffic and help the victims. “Everybody was so caring that day. I mean we have hope, especially here in Phoenix, everybody just came together,” he said. Schwab is hoping Johnson is punished for the deadly wreck. “I hope he faces the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

Investigators say Johnson is not the children’s father. He was charged with second-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault. He is now being held on a $1 million secured appearance bond.