Family Struggles One Month After Crash Caused By Drunk Driver

Thursday, July 26th 2012, 10:49 pm
By: News On 6

It's been exactly a month since a car crash changed a Wagoner County family forever.

One daughter died and another was hospitalized for nearly three weeks.

Now, the teen who survived faces a whole new physical challenge on top of the emotional toll.

Anna Johnston's parents both work, but neither has health insurance, so they're trying to rehab Anna's physical and neurological problems on their own.

Anna Johnston never knew how many muscles walking required until a car crash took that ability away from her.

"Oh, I am very, very sore. My leg kind of, my right leg hurts a little," Anna said.

Anna's mother, Carolyn, is using study guides to help Anna rehabilitate, but pictures on a page only go so far.

"You're never prepared for something like this," Carolyn said.

Anna survived the crash on June 26 at 21st and Lynn Lane. Her sister, Janie, did not.

6/26/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Police: Woman Dead, Teen Critical After Car Broadsides Their Minivan

Tulsa police said a drunk driver ran a stop sign and hit the sisters' van at more than 60 miles per hour.

Carolyn said, "I see Anna progressing and we're having a good time together and that's great, and then you'll drive by something that reminds you of Janie and it's all tears."

The trauma to Anna's brain has caused some neurological delays and has caused her right side to be sluggish. She needs physical therapy, but can't go because the family doesn't have health insurance. Carolyn's teaching contract wasn't renewed this summer and insurance isn't available for her husband at his temporary job.

So the Johnstons do what should be done at a rehab facility, in their living room with sheets printed off the internet.

"Had a chance a couple of times to take her to a friend's swimming pool," Carolyn said. "She can't swim and all that yet, but it helps with her balance."

The Johnstons are leaning on each other and faith to get them through.

"There's times it's hard, but I have a lot of very loving, praying people around me," Carolyn said.

They're taking things one day at a time, step by step.

Tulsa Police will soon present this case to the District Attorney for criminal charges against the other driver.

In the meantime, friends have set up two ways to help the Johnstons.

You can donate to the "Anna R. Johnston" fund at any MidFirst Bank location or visit this website.