Impaired driver who hit, killed 4-year-old sent to prison

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Carl Wayne Johnson, a man who already had three prior DUI convictions when he hit and killed a 4-year-old in November was sentenced to prison last week.

Court documents state Judge Linda Jones sentenced Johnson on Thursday on one count second-degree felony automobile homicide negligence – DUI to one to 15 years at the Utah State Prison. He was given credit for the 168 days he has spent in jail since the incident.

Restitution has not yet been determined.

Johnson, 57, seriously injured a woman and killed her young son when he struck them with his vehicle in the crosswalk at the intersection of 900 W. California Avenue on November 16, 2019.

RELATED: Driver charged with automobile homicide

Police said they could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from Johnson and he failed a field sobriety test. Additionally, Johnson was driving the vehicle without insurance and with the wrong license plates, according to arresting documents.

Johnson originally faced charges of automobile homicide, DUI causing death and serious injury, driving without insurance, using improper plates and failing to yield to pedestrians.

A background check shows Johnson has three previous misdemeanor convictions for DUI from 1988 – 2000 and a conviction for having alcohol in a park in 2005.

Johnson’s most recent DUI was enhanced to a second-degree felony due to his prior convictions.

The 4-year-old killed in the crash was later identified as a boy named Holden. A GofundMe page has been set up for Holden’s family to help cover medical, funeral and other related expenses.

“He was the happiest, best friend that anyone could ask for,” stated in the GoFundMe. “He had a joy for life that was contagious to all he came in contact with. He touched so many lives in his short time on Earth, and it is hard to imagine continuing on without him.” 

A memorial at the crash scene was soon filled with a Christmas tree, stuffed animals, action figures, flowers and notes from friends, family and those who never knew the little boy but wanted to show their support.

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