VANCOUVER -- Millions of people around the world are sending messages of love to a Vancouver woman who unknowingly posted updates on Twitter about the car crash that killed her husband.
It was a very violent crash Wednesday afternoon on I-205 near the interchange with Padden Parkway. At freeway speeds, a car crossed through a grass median, slamming head-on into a pick-up truck going southbound.
Caran Johnson, who writes under the Twitter handle @ScanCouver was at home doing what she always does, tweeting traffic updates to her hundreds of followers.
Her 47-year-old husband Craig Johnson told her he was coming home from work early. He has epilepsy and told co-workers he had been feeling faint right before he left. As Caran listened to the police scanner, she grew worried because Craig was taking too long and not answering calls.
I could feel her fear building all of a sudden when you start saying, 'Wait a minute, my husband's not there, he just left work, he wasn't feeling good' and you could just see her putting two and two together, said Twitter follower and fellow scanner hound Marissa Phillips.
Cheryl Bledsoe had seen Caran's worried tweets as well, and was following along when Caran eventually heard from police what she feared, and tweeted -- it was her husband who died.
The confluence of her Twitter account, you just sat back and said 'Wow, what are the odds.' I'd venture to say they're worse than lightning, said Bledsoe.
It played out in real time and that she was the one doing it, you know, playing it out without realizing it, Phillips said shaking her head. If she had even thought it was her husband, I can't imagine she would have gone through with it.
Hearing first hand details of Craig's condition, the fight to cut him out of the car, and unknowingly passing that on to hundreds online, has sent her story worldwide. Thousands of messages have been sent to her on Twitter.
She's someone out there trying to use Twitter to a good end, said Bledsoe. So to see something tragic like that happen to her is just awful.
Bledsoe and Phillips have set up a fund online for Caran and her two young sons. Phillips, a widow herself, knows firsthand that money will not bring her husband back. But it does relieve some stress from suddenly losing a household income and funeral costs. Hundreds of donations have poured in from around the world and across the country.