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Iraq war veteran loses all 3 children in crash

TUESDAY, NOV. 6, 2007

DALLAS – All three young children of a wounded Iraq veteran and his wife have died following a car accident that happened on their way to visit their father in a hospital.

Three weeks after his two siblings died in the Oct. 13 accident, 9-year-old Tyler Johnson died Saturday at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.

Army Spc. John Austin Johnson was waiting for his wife, Lisa, and the children to visit him at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio when the crash occurred on Interstate 10 about 12 miles east of Ozona.

Authorities said Lisa Johnson overcorrected the steering in her sport utility vehicle when she encountered a gust of wind on the drive from El Paso, and the vehicle rolled at least four times.

Two-year-old Logan and 5-year-old Ashley died at the scene. Tyler suffered head injuries.

Investigators blamed the accident on a combination of high speed, drowsiness and powerful wind, but said Lisa Johnson was driving at the speed limit.

A family spokesman, Sgt. 1st Class Eugene Schmidt, said the Johnsons were too upset to talk publicly.

Johnson, who is stationed at Fort Bliss, survived five brushes with improvised explosive device blasts during two years in Iraq, Schmidt said last month. The latest caused a traumatic brain injury and he speaks with a severe stutter.


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