- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Washington woman with an affinity for tracking police activity on her scanner, and live tweeting out updates to her followers, unwittingly sent out social media details of her own husband’s fatal car crash as the action unfolded.

Caran Johnson, who tunes into her scanner daily and follows state Trooper William Finn on Twitter to monitor the latest breaking police news, heard about an accident on Vancouver’s Interstate 205, CNN reported. The details were that the car was traveling northbound, but crossed the median into the southbound lane and hit a pickup truck head on.

Trooper Finn tweeted the details, advising followers of lane closings. Ms. Johnson, meanwhile, picked up on the action and tweeted: “This accident sounds horrible,” CNN reported.

Trooper Finn, meanwhile, was working the accident scene and collecting details, little by little, on the scanner about a 2005 silver four-door Hyundai Elantra that was involved in the wreck — leaving the driver dead.

Ms. Johnson then tweeted: “I’m trying not to panic, but my husband left work early and he drives 205 to get home. He’s not answering his phone.”

Ms. Johnson then called on Trooper Finn, via Twitter, for more information.

In a tweet to the trooper: “Do you have description of involved vehicles?”

Trooper Finn replied: “Not yet.” And then he stopped tweeting — and informed her privately of the car details.

“It was terrible,” he said to CNN. “Immediately, I went into overdrive mode, and I stopped tweeting the whole thing. I didn’t want someone to find out over Twitter that their husband passed away. I didn’t want her to find out that way. That is a hard thing to go through.”

Shortly after, on Twitter, Ms. Johnson sent out a final note: “It’s him. He died.”

 

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