Casper Man Arrested for Driving Drunk, Totaling Car in Casper
A Casper man was arrested for a DWUI on Saturday, after crashing into two separate cars.
Cowboy State Daily first reported that Ben Johnson of Casper was driving home from work on Saturday night when he hit almost head-on by a Ford F-250.
That's according to a Facebook post from Johnson, who took to social media following a crash to detail the events of the crash.
"PSA: this is why you don’t drive drunk," Johnson wrote. "Fat Jesus here was totally shitfaced going 70 mph in the wrong lane, my lane, and we came nose to nose destined for a head on collision. I swerved just in time and took the impact on the side… right where my 3 year old’s car seat was. Thank god he wasn’t with me."
Johnson told K2 Radio News that he was driving home from the Casper Country Club where he worked, and was planning to stop at the West side Walmart. He saw that a car, about 150 feet in front of him, swerved to the right and then he saw the F-250 side swipe that vehicle before coming up to Johnson's own car.
"Then he was just nose-to-nose with me," Johnson stated. "It was that quick. I had one second to react, so I just threw my wheel left cause I could see there was no one coming. So I was just gonna try to get over to that other shoulder. Well, he turned the same direction I did and just ended up hitting me super hard."
Johnson said that the vehicle was traveling at a very high rate of speed.
"I bet he was going 70 or 80 miles an hour," he stated. All of Johnson's airbags had deployed. He told Cowboy State Daily that had the two cars collided head-on, the steering column would have gone through his chest and he would have been killed.
Johnson said that his car was parked on the shoulder, so he was out of oncoming traffic. He took a few moments to do a wellness check on himself, and then the driver of the other vehicle that was hit came to check on him.
"This lady comes down and she goes, 'How many people in the car?' How many people in the car?' because she saw my car seat," Johnson remembered. "I didn't have my son with me, thank God."
The other driver went to check on the suspect, then came back to Johnson.
"She goes, 'Well, just so you know, that guy was totally sh*t-faced, and he was texting,'" Johnson said.
Emergency vehicles arrived shortly thereafter, and Johnson said that he was told the driver had gotten out of his vehicle and was puking on the side of the road.
CSD reported that Joshua Atkinson, a 31-year-old Casper resident, was arrested and charged with driving while under the influence after he hit two vehicles on Saturday night. His blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.
He was arrested just after 6 p.m.
Court documents state that Atkinson told Wyoming Highway Patrol Troopers that he was at a wedding up on Casper Mountain and had consumed "a couple of beers."
Atkinson attempted to walk a straight line, to no avail. The Highway Patrol trooper noted in the affidavit that Atkinson had 'bloodshot, watery eyes and his face was flushed."
Atkinson was unable to stand on one leg, nor walk a straight line, so troopers gave him a snap PBT sample, in which he blew a .214. Subsequent breath tests revealed a .200 and a .188.
The legal limit in Wyoming is .08.
Cowboy State Daily reported that Atkinson pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in the Circuit Court of the Seventh Judicial District on Monday.
He was released on a $550 cash or surety bond.
Johnson said that he holds no ill-will towards Atkinson. But, he said, he hopes that this serves as a lesson to anybody who might think about drinking and driving.
"I hope people learn something from this," he said. "I'll never drive after I've been drinking, even a little bit, again. It's just a big wakeup call I feel like, and I hope people take a lesson from it."
Johnson said that the wreck could have been a lot worse. Worse, still, is the fact that Johnson's 3-year-old son could have been with him. The car hit Johnson's vehicle right where his son's car seat was. Had Johnson's son been with him, he would have been killed.
The fact that he wasn't, and the fact that everybody involved was more or less okay, well...
That's a miracle.