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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 21, 2014

District Woman Sentenced To Three-Year Prison Term For Involuntary Manslaughter In Traffic Fatality-Impaired Driver Lost Control Of Car, Leading To Passenger’s Death-

     WASHINGTON – Corrine M. Johnson, 27, of Washington, D.C, was sentenced today to three years in prison on charges of involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol stemming from a traffic fatality that took place in 2012 in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Johnson pled guilty to the charges in November 2013 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.  She was sentenced by the Honorable Robert E. Morin. Upon completion of her prison term, Johnson will be placed on five years of supervised release.

     According to the government’s evidence, at approximately 1:35 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, Johnson was driving her Hyundai Accent at a high rate of speed southwest bound on Division Avenue NE.  The victim, Cierra Wilson, 25, was Johnson’s front seat passenger. 

     Witnesses saw Johnson driving at approximately twice the speed limit in the residential area, and failing to stop at the stop sign controlling the intersection of Division Avenue and Blaine Street NE.  After running that stop sign, Johnson continued along Division Avenue and failed to stop at the stop sign controlling the next intersection at Division Avenue and Ames Street.  As she ran the stop sign at that intersection, Johnson lost control of her car and crashed, wedging her car between a lamp post and the retaining wall of the corner house at the intersection.  The crash instantly killed Ms. Wilson.

     Almost immediately, area residents arrived on the scene and saw that the car was on fire.  A resident put out the fire with a kitchen fire extinguisher.  Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), who were patrolling the area, were flagged down and immediately came to the scene.  They found that Ms. Wilson, the front seat passenger, appeared to be already dead, and Johnson, still in the driver’s seat, was badly injured.  Johnson was taken to a hospital and treated for her injuries. While at the hospital, Johnson’s blood was drawn and later analyzed to determine that her blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit.

     Crash analysis conducted by detectives from the MPD’s Major Crash Investigations Unit determined that Johnson’s Hyundai did not experience any mechanical malfunction, and that Johnson did not apply her brakes to avoid the crash.  Further, the crash reconstruction evidence indicated that when she struck the retaining wall, killing Ms. Wilson, Johnson was travelling at approximately 55 mph in the 25 mph zone.  Also, an opened bottle of vodka was found on the floorboard of the car. 

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised those who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department, including members of the Major Crash Investigations Unit and the Sixth District.  He also expressed appreciation for those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Sandra Lane and Phil Aronson, and Victim/Witness Program Specialist Tamara Ince.

     Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward A. O’Connell, who prosecuted the matter.

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Updated February 19, 2015