Story Summary

Deadly Crash In Van Buren County

Three people died, two were toddlers, and two others were seriously injured in a three-vehicle accident Tuesday evening in Van Buren County.

At 7:11 p.m. on November 14, 2012 the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a multiple-vehicle crash with injuries on County Road 388 ner 62nd Street in Geneva Township.

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david johnsonSouth Haven, Mich  – David Johnson has been sentenced to 19.5 to 50 years and 86 Months to 15 Years to be served Concurrently in the fatal drunk driving case that killed 3. Johnson must also pay $18,000 Dollars in restitution.

Johnson was drunk and behind the wheel the night he smashed head on with another vehicle.

The crash killed 24-Year-Old Brittney King  along with 2-Year-Old Kandice Berryhill and 4-Year-Old Cassadi Berryhill.

The accident occurred on November 14, 2012 when Johnson, driving an F-150, crossed the center line and struck the car Brittney was driving head on.

The charged with killing three, two of them children, and injuring others was arraigned Friday.

David Glen Johnson, 32, from Covert was released from Bronson Hospital around 3:00 p.m. He was in the hospital being treated for injuries he sustained in the crash. He was immediately taken into custody, and transported to the Van Buren County Jail.

He was arraigned around 4:00 p.m. in front of the county magistrate on the following charges:

  • 3 counts Of 2nd degree murder
  • 3 counts of operating while intoxicated causing death
  • 3 counts of operating while license suspended causing death
  • 1 count of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury
  • 1 count of operating with a suspended license

Johnson was also arraigned on a felony warrant out of Covert for larceny by conversion.

His bond was set at $5,000.

Johnson was in fair condition earlier this week, but wasn’t well enough to be arraigned until this evening.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 28, 2012 at 1:00 p.m.

Charges have been authorized in the case of a man accused of drunk driving, striking a car carrying four people, killing two young girls and their older cousin.  Their father was critically injured as well.

The driver of the truck that hit the family, 32-year-old David Glen Johnson, faces 11 charges total. Those include: three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, three counts of operating a vehicle with a license suspended or revoked causing death, one count of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury and one count of driving while license suspended or revoked causing injury.

Meanwhile, the family of the victims has set up a fundraiser for the youngest victims, 4-year-old Cassadi, and 2-year-old Kandice Berryhill to pay for funeral expenses for their little girls. They young couple, Justin and Alicia don’t have a lot of money and of course the crash was so unexpected.

“Her and Justin are having a very difficult time right now. They lost their, they lost their family,”  says Benny Quinones, who lost her granddaughters and her niece Brittany.

Benny says her grandchildren were the light of her daughter Alicia’s life. Four-year-old Cassadi was in love with soccer and being the little “boss” and 2-year-old Kandice was known as the snuggler with the great smile.

“She was so cute. And, she was loving and affectionate,” says Quinones.

The crash on that dark country road was so devastating, tearing the young family apart. With hearts heavy from grief, the girl’s uncle Kevin Lounsberry says the pain is hard to bear. “It’s really hard in that house right now, it is. It will take a long time for it to work itself out,” says Lounsberry, the girl’s uncle.

The family is grateful for those who are supporting them in prayer during this tragedy. “I ask that they continue and the support and love from other people, thank you for being there, it means a lot for our family,” says Benny.

“We appreciate all the prayers, all the sympathy and we will need it, we will,” says Kevin.

With Justin Berryhill still in the hospital and Alicia in so much pain, family members are stepping in to help the couple bury their little ones. They’ve set up a fund at Fifth Third Bank in Cassadi and Kandice Berryhill’s name for community donations. “Just so they can have a good funeral,” says Benny.

Benny says it will help to give their little angels the proper send-off into heaven.”Those girls, can be sent home good, nicely, because, they don’t have the money, (pause) wasn’t expecting this,” says Benny.
In order to donate to the fund to pay for Cassadi and Kandice’s funeral, you can go into any Fifth Third bank across the country and of course here in Michigan and donate there.  The family says they are grateful for those that have stepped in to help.

We also talked to Brittany King’s mom, Melinda Quinones, about how special the 24-year-old was.  She said her daughter wanted to be a nurse and loved to help others. Brittney even took care of her when she was sick following a surgery. Melinda said her daughter was on her way back from helping a friend when she was struck and killed. She says she has forgiveness for the man who did it in Brittney’s memory in part because Brittany was a forgiving spirit herself.

Family members of the woman who lost her life at the hands of a drunk driver speak out.

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich.– Charges have been authorized against the man who was allegedly driving drunk, which resulted in three deaths.

According to the Van Buren county magistrate, Jim Becker,  David Johnson, 32, has had multiple charges authorized against him. These charges include three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, three counts of operating a vehicle with license suspended causing death, one count of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury and one count of driving while license suspended causing injury.

The accident occurred at 7:11 p.m. Tuesday, when Johnson, driving an F-150, crossed the center line and struck the car Brittney King, 24, was driving head on. King was killed in the crash along with 4-year-old Cassadi and 2-year-old Kandice Barryhill. The father of the young girls, Justin Berryhill, was also a passenger in the car.

Both Johnson and Justin Berryhill were airlifted from the scene with serious injuries, but are now listed in stable condition.

The Sheriff’s Department says  that Johnson has not been arraigned on these charges and remains in the hospital.

Close friends and family mourn the loss of a woman and two little girls from
Van Buren County hit and killed by suspected drunk driver.

The family of Justin Berryhill says he is still recovering at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, but it’s a tough emotional road for him right now and for his wife.

They are the parents of 4-year-old Cassadi and 2-year-old Kandice Berryhill, both killed in an accident in Van Buren County. Brittney King was also killed. The driver who hit their car, possibly drunk according to police.

The two youngster’s grandmother, Benny Quinones, and their uncle, Kevin Lounsberry, talked about how special they were. They also talked about Brittney, Benny’s niece and Kevin’s cousin.

“Cassadi played soccer this year and the last game she scored a goal,” says Belinda (Benny) Quinones, the child’s grandmother.

It’s a tough night for her as she tries to comfort her daughter while mourning the loss of her two grandchildren as well. Cassadi was the oldest at 4-years-old.

She was always the bossy one, she was bossy and a little know-it all but she was so cute,” says Benny. She also described with a smile the time she had with her 2-year-old granddaughter, Kandice. Her nickname was Kandi (Candy).

“Kandi was the mischievous one. She was the one that would get into trouble and turn around and look at you. She was cuddly and liked to come in and cuddle and sleep with me sometimes,” says Benny.

“Two little blondies with blue eyes. Even when they were being naughty, they were cute doing it.” says Kevin Lounsberry, the girls’ uncle.

Benny describes the turmoil her daughter and son-in-law are going through. “He wakes up and they tell him about it and he goes back to sleep and he wakes up and he’s just re-living the whole thing every time he wakes up,” says Benny. “Her and Justin are having a very difficult time right now, they lost their, they lost their family.”

There are also tears for Benny’s niece Brittney King.The young mom leaves behind two young daughters of her own.Brittney she was so funny, wonderful, wonderful sense of humor, oh man, did she make me laugh,” says Benny.

“My sister’s going to be back tonight and she’s got to face the loss of her daughter too. It’s a whole family affair here. It’s a whole family of pain,”

 The family is grateful to those supporting them in spirit. “There’s just this sympathy and prayers all that, we really need it right now,” says Kevin.

 You’re always taking a chance when you go out drinking and driving. You’re always taking a chance and this guy that did this, his luck ran out at our expense. My whole family’s expense,” says Benny.

The family of a man who was allegedly drunk behind the wheel when causing a wreck that left three people dead in Van Buren County says the man has been through a personal hell in the past two years.

A cousin of David Johnson, 32, says Johnson had been dealing with stomach cancer and a rocky marriage leading up to the Wednesday night crash that took the lives of  two children. Cassadi Berryhill, 4, and her sister, Kandice, 2, died in the crash. Brittney King, 24, was the driver of one of the three cars involved in the wreck and also died.

The father of the two girls, Justin Berryhill, is in stable condition at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo.

Johnson’s cousin says David knew the family who lost their two daughters.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Johnson’s cousin said. “I know he knows he’s in the wrong. His heart’s broken for what he did.”

According to the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department, Johnson’s criminal record should never have allowed him on the road. At the time of the crash, his license was suspended. He has prior convictions of operating under the influence of liquor and operating while impaired by liquor. Johnson also has seven other convictions of driving with a suspended licenses.

FOX 17 also found a 2003 conviction on a drug charge on Johnson’s record.

Johnson’s cousin says the man she and her family call “Buddy” was planning to buy the truck involved in the wreck, a 1997 Ford F-150 that belonged to Adam Cripps of Grand Junction. Cripps didn’t return calls or messages from FOX 17 on Wednesday.

Johnson’s cousin also says this isn’t the first time that her family has dealt with a drunk driving tragedy.

In 2006, Johnson’s cousin lost her right arm in a drunk driving accident in Indiana.

“We’re all heartbroken on both sides,” she said. “We’ve been through this on both sides now.”

“It’s hard. It’s really hard. It’s bringing back a lot of memories for all of us. And we know that David should have. ..he knew better. We know he knew better.”

But the family isn’t acting like they’re the victims.

“We’re not wanting sympathy for what he did. We’re sorry for what our family member has done.”

Johnson’s cousin says David went through surgeries this afternoon at Bronson. As of Wednesday night, no charges had been filed against him.

A suspect is named in the drunk driving case that claimed three lives. We’re learning details about his criminal background.