Teen who lost leg after being hit by a car takes stand in driver - KPTV - FOX 12

Teen who lost leg after being hit by a car takes stand in driver's retrial

Posted: Updated: Feb 15, 2017 07:45 PM
Justin Carey in court Wednesday. (KPTV) Justin Carey in court Wednesday. (KPTV)
Image: KPTV Image: KPTV
Detectives investigate the crash near Battle Ground in June 2013. (Clark County Sheriff's Office) Detectives investigate the crash near Battle Ground in June 2013. (Clark County Sheriff's Office)
VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

A Battle Ground teenager is again fighting to put the woman accused of nearly killing him back behind bars.

Justin Carey and his service dog walked back into the Clark County Courthouse Wednesday, but it was not how the teen wanted to spend his day.

Carey said it was important that he do everything he can, though, to help send Shaun Johnson back to prison.

Carey is almost 20 now, but his life changed forever when he was 16. He was waiting for a bus in Battle Ground in 2013 when he was hit by a car that investigators say Johnson was driving.

Initially, first responders didn't realize that anyone had been hit, until an hour and a half after the crash when a tow truck driver showed up and happened to hear Carey calling for help, hidden from view behind in some brush.

The teen suffered severe injuries and ended up having to have a leg amputated.

Investigators charged Johnson with vehicular assault and possession of meth. Detectives said her blood work tests proved she had methamphetamine in her system, though Johnson always maintained that she hadn't used the drug the day of the incident.

In 2015, a jury found Johnson guilty and sentenced her to three years in prison, but last year the ruling was overturned when a court found that investigators had illegally searched Johnson’s purse and found meth.

Prosecutors decided they would put Johnson on trial again. They will not be able to use the methamphetamine that was found as evidence in the new trial, although they will still try to prove that she was impaired.

A medical expert and a drug recognition expert testified Wednesday morning. Before taking the stand in the afternoon, Carey told FOX 12 he was emotionally prepared, but not excited to be reliving the experience again.

"It's pretty frustrating, because I thought that we were over this a couple of years ago and coming back is just a big hassle, in not only my life but in my family’s life,” he said. “Especially my mother, because she has been so flustered about all of this, and I know it is hard on her and all my other family members and friends"

In his testimony Wednesday, Carey recalled his experience for the court and explained how his life has changed.

“I remember my doctor talking to me about it, putting me under, and waking up and seeing my lower right leg gone. And then my parents coming in and just everybody was sad,” he said. “I can’t do things that I would normally do. Stairs are a much more difficult task now, running is one, swimming, biking, hiking. I can’t walk up hills very well, can’t join the armed forces anymore.”

Johnson did not want to comment Wednesday, but Connie McAtee, a friend who has been in court for each day of the trial to support Johnson, said she believes the tow truck driver or somebody else hit Carey.

McAtee added that Johnson is innocent and a good person who doesn't deserve any of this.

"Her life has been just destroyed by all of this,” McAtee said. “She lost her job that she had for 12 years, and her home and a lot of her family members, and she had a lot of shame in the community. Of course, she went to prison for 17 months, and it has been really rough on her."

In an unexpected ruling, the judge in the case decided that Justin's family members and friends would not be able to wear t-shirts with "We Support Justin" on them into the courtroom. Carey's family told FOX 12 they were shocked and upset by the decision.

The trial is expected to continue through Friday.

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