VANCOUVER – A Washington trooper made contact with a Vancouver woman who was live tweeting when her husband was in a deadly crash, and he made sure she did not learn the horrific news via Twitter.
Caran Johnson, known to her Twitter followers as @ScanCouver, frequently listens to police scanners and tweets out information about police, fire and medical emergencies happening in Vancouver.
Wednesday night, she was sending out updates on a fatal Interstate 205 crash when she realized her husband was likely driving in the area.
She started sending out messages like, “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.”
She sent a direct message to Washington State Patrol Trooper Will Finn, asking for descriptions of the vehicles involved.
Finn then looked at the rest of her tweets and realized she might know someone involved in the crash.
“At that point, that’s when I realized this might be something we want to deal with right now,” Finn said.
He scrambled to find out more information. He found out one person was dead and another was seriously hurt.
Finn decided right then not to send out any photos of the scene. He said he didn’t want her to find out on Twitter what two investigators were about to tell her in person, at her door.
A little while later, after they reached her, she sent one final tweet: “it’s him. he died.”
A fund was set up at YouCaring.com to help her family. Thursday morning Twitter users from around the world were sending their condolences:
KGW Reporter Reggie Aqui contributed to this report.