A father of four who faces DUI and vehicular homicide charges in the crash that killed his oldest daughter is out of jail. Anthony Johnson was released from the DeKalb County Jail around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday after his family posted his $12,500 bond.
Johnson's family posted bond at early Wednesday morning, but his release was delayed due to a backlog at the jail. Before he walked to the nearby bond office, Johnson spoke briefly to reporters.
"All I can say is I love my family, my wife, my kids. I'm trying to go to the hospital right now to check on my daughter because I've been here a few days," Johnson told reporters.
According to DeKalb County police, Johnson, 35, was behind the wheel of his 2006 Chrysler Pacifica on Sunday night when he crashed at Highway 78 and Hugh Howell Road. His four children were also inside the car. Police say Johnson's car left the road and crashed into the woods just off the highway. No other vehicles were involved in the crash.
His daughter Corliss, 15, was killed and his 11-year-old daughter, Joy, was hospitalized in critical condition. Authorities say she has a skull fracture and she may have brain damage. Johnson's 8 and 9-year-old sons were also taken to the hospital. One of the boys was treated and released, while the other was kept for overnight observation.
According to a police report released on Wednesday, officers arrived at the crash scene to find Johnson's oldest daughter dead in the car, but no one else was at the scene. Johnson told authorities that he passed out after the crash, and when he could not find his cell phone, he and his sons walked nearly a mile to the Metro Café Diner in Stone Mountain and called for help.
The officer interviewing Johnson outside the diner wrote in the police report that Johnson's "speech was slurred, he was loud, and his eyes were bloodshot red." The officer reported a strong smell of alcohol coming from his breath. He consented to a blood test to determine whether or not he was under the influence, but those results have yet to be released.
When the officer asked how much alcohol Johnson had to drink before the crash, the report says Johnson replied, "What does that have to do with the accident?" The officer reported that after he asked again, Johnson told him he had one beer while watching the NASCAR race at his brother's house. The police report says he then told the officer that he drank "one pint of an unknown liquor" at his brother's house while the race was on.
According to the police report, Johnson told the officer that after the race was over, he "consumed half of a Budweiser tall boy and wasted a shot of whiskey on his clothes."
The report says Johnson told the officer he was on his way to pick up his wife from work at CVS in Gwinnett County when two cars passed him on Hwy. 78 "at a high rate of speed causing his vehicle to lift off the ground." Johnson told the officer he overcorrected and crashed into the woods. When he woke up, the report says his boys responded when he called out for them, but his daughters did not.
Johnson's daughter, Corliss, attended Stephenson High School in Lithonia.