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Violent crash Tuesday morning in Johnson County offers reminder to not drive distracted

Posted at 8:34 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 20:34:19-04

JOHNSON COUNTY — Following a serious crash involving five cars and one semi, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office wants to make sure people are staying safe when driving through construction zones.

The crash this morning on State Road 37 landed four people to the hospital and shut down a portion of the highway for six hours.

Two of the people involved in that accident were BilleJo Tilford's grandparents. She said both are currently in the hospital with serious injuries. She has a message for people traveling in construction zones.

"I almost lost two of the greatest people in my life because of a cell phone,” Tilford said. “So just slow down there is no rush. If you need to leave sooner then leave sooner if you have to be somewhere at a certain time."

The Johnson County Sheriff Duane Burgess echoed that sentiment.

"Everybody needs to slow down it is clearly posted,” Burgess said. “They have speed boards out there so that your speed is indicated other people can see it, you can see it mainly, but they need to slow down and travel a safe distance between everyone."

Burgess said it is believed the semi-driver who caused the crash was distracted. They didn’t say if the driver was distracted due to a cellphone, but that it’s too early to know if the semi-driver will be charged with anything. They will be turning all of their information over to the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office to determine the next steps.

The sheriff's office did add that none of the injuries are life-threatening.

As for Tilford’s grandparents, she said they have a long road to recovery, but she and her family are blessed they are still alive.