Autopsy results reveal that Angela Johnson, one of three adults who tried to cross a busy Palmetto Expressway with seven children on New Year’s Day to get to a nearby Chuck E. Cheese, was pregnant at the time of her death.
Her family did not know she was carrying her second child.
Johnson’s daughter, Kayla Johnson, 4, who was also hit by a Ford Explorer on the southbound lanes near Okeechobee Road, remains at Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition. Kayla had the most serious injuries. Her cousins, Lexis Burnette, 7 and Anastasia Thomas (who prefers the name Briyanna), 9, were in stable condition Friday.
The hospital would not release information Friday afternoon.
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But Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Joe Sanchez said he had heard that Kayla, who suffered head trauma and other injuries, was “doing much better” and that the other two children should be released from the hospital soon.
“Traffic homicide investigators will meet with the State Attorney’s Office to discuss possibilities of filing charges against the adults, for basically endangering the childrens’ well-being. It’s the State Attorney’s call,” Sanchez said. The names of the other two adults, who were not injured, have not been released. FHP will not file charges against driver Renato Rodriguez whose Ford Explorer SUV hit Johnson and four of the children at 3:39 p.m. Thursday.
No one has yet explained why the group ventured onto the expressway’s ramp and tried to cut across lanes filled with fast-moving cars instead of crossing at a nearby underpass at Northwest 103rd Street — just 100 yards or so away and close to the Chuck E. Cheese, Sanchez said.
Johnson, 24, was pregnant, her family learned after the medical examiner’s report. Her sister Andral Johnson was at Kayla’s bedside at Jackson and spoke to Miami Herald news partner CBS4. “That’s dangerous. It’s a highway. Who would cross a highway?” she said. Kayla, she said, was “moving, she’s opening her eyes, she’s holding my hand.”
Berbelie Labranch is grandmother to Lexis and Anastasia. “I don’t know what the kids were doing on the Palmetto Expressway,” she told CBS4. “I’m upset about that.”
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