Woman jailed for fleeing a car wreck, abandoning kids, now being sued


A Texarkana woman who has been behind bars since fleeing the scene of two wrecks last year is now facing a civil lawsuit.

Shuntay Johnson, 25, had five children, all under age six, in her 2002 Pontiac Grand Am when she hit a Chevy Impala as it was turning into the EZ Mart on East 9th Street in Texarkana, Ark., June 24, 2014, according to court and police records. Shuntay Johnson initially got out of the Pontiac to check on the Impala’s driver and passenger, Eric and Ruby Johnson, who are not related to Shuntay Johnson.

When police arrived at the accident, Shuntay Johnson hopped back in the Pontiac and fled. Apparently Shuntay Johnson had no insurance and an existing felony warrant. About an hour after the crash in Texarkana, Ark., the Pontiac was spotted by a Texarkana, Texas police officer on West 13th Street. When the Texas-side officer tried to pull Shuntay Johnson over, she fled for the second time that day. As the Pontiac entered the intersection of 13th Street and Summerhill Road, it crashed again.

Shuntay Johnson took the five children with her as she tried to escape on foot, shoving the youngsters over a fence. As officers closed in, Shuntay Johnson ran, leaving the children behind. Shuntay Johnson was arrested after a short foot pursuit and has been in jail since.

Last month Shuntay Johnson plead guilty in Bowie County to five counts of abandoning/endangering a child and to theft. She received a 15-month state jail sentence, which she is currently serving. With the credit she had for the time spent in jail before sentencing, Shuntay Johnson is scheduled for release next month.

But her legal problems aren’t going to be over then.

Eric and Ruby Johnson filed a civil suit Wednesday in Miller County seeking damages for their wrecked Impala and physical injuries. The suit alleges Shuntay Johnson was driving without insurance, traveling at an unsafe speed and that she failed to keep a proper lookout.

Shelter Mutual Insurance is also listed as a defendant in the civil suit. Eric and Ruby Johnson allege they had a valid policy in place with Shelter at the time of the accident, including uninsured motorist coverage, but that Shelter hasn’t paid their claim.

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