Three family members killed, three injured in wreck on ice-coated I-40 near Shamrock Thursday

A two-vehicle crash on ice-coated I-40 Thursday morning resulted in three fatalities, and injuries to three others.

The accident occurred on I-40 about six miles east of Shamrock around 9:47 am Thursday, Jan. 3. Elizabeth Johanson, 35, of Cleveland, Mississippi, was driving a 2004 Ford Explorer east when she lost control of the vehicle, which slid across the center median and into the westbound lanes, where it was broadsided by a 2005 Safari Cheetah RV, driven by Dennis Olson, 51, of Placentia, California.

Johanson was traveling with her husband, 35-year-old Adam, and their four children, including 8-year-old daughter Jane, who died at the scene. The two adults were transported to the Shamrock General Hospital, where they later died. Two of the children—5-year-old Alec and a 3-year-old Charlotte—were transported to Shamrock General and later airlifted to Amarillo’s Northwest Hospital with life-threatening injuries. The fourth child, 12-year-old Megan, was treated for minor injuries at Shamrock General. All three of the surviving children have since been released to relatives.

Neither Olson nor his passenger, 49-year-old Theresia Olson, were injured.

All of those involved in the accident were wearing seat belts.

Texas DPS troopers continue to investigate the accident, which occurred in snowy, icy conditions.According to the preliminary investigation, the Explorer was travelling at an unsafe speed for the slick conditions of the roadway when the driver lost control.

Adam Johanson was an assistant professor of physics and director of the Wiley Planetarium at Cleveland’s Delta State University, where flags are being flown at half-staff through Monday, Jan. 7. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up by the Marshall and Johanson families to go toward memorial and funeral expenses, as well as support services for the Johanson children.


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