Local News

Family: Raleigh hit-and-run victim fighting for life

Posted January 21, 2013 10:08 p.m. EST
Updated January 21, 2013 11:56 p.m. EST

— The family of a hit-and-run crash victim say he's fighting to hang on despite severe injuries to his liver, internal bleeding and multiple broken bones.

Joseph Paul Johnson, 46, was listed in critical condition at WakeMed Monday, one day after he was hit head-on by a suspected drunken driver, said his brother, Glenn Johnson.

Police said Alejandro Ramirez-Castaneda, 25, fled on foot after the crash, which happened shortly after 5 a.m. Sunday on Garner Road at Peterson Street in Raleigh. He was later arrested and charged with felony hit and run, felony serious injury by vehicle, resisting a public officer by running, open container of alcohol, improper passing to the left, driving without an operator's license and driving while impaired.

Glenn Johnson said his brother's truck was crushed and mangled by the force of impact.

"It pushed the engine and the whole front end up to the dash," he said. "The steering wheel went into his chest and stomach."

Joey Johnson, who was headed to a construction job when the crash happened, is unconscious and heavily medicated, Glenn Johnson said. His wife hasn't left his side.

"She thinks he can just open his eyes and talk to her, and he can't," Glenn Johnson said. "It's going to be a while."