'Realizing they're not coming home is just hard,' relative of crash victims says

Gladys Johnson, Za-Kira Johnson killed Friday in distracted driving wreck

MONROE COUNTY, Mich. – Two days after a Redford mother and her 5-year-old daughter were killed in a distracted driving crash on U.S. 23 in Summerfield Township, a family member is still trying to process exactly what happened.

“I'm just looking for her to pull up in the driveway,” said Dushawna Dickinson, referring to 35-year-old Gladys Johnson, her sister-in-law.

“Realizing that they're not coming back home is just hard,” said Dickinson, whose niece, Za-Kira Johnson, died in the crash as well. “It's hard.”

The crash took place about 2:30 p.m. Friday in Monroe County. The Johnsons were pronounced dead at the scene.

“(Gladys Johnson) was a wonderful mother -- always thinking of others before herself,” Dickinson said. “She was just a sweet person.”

Dickinson will remember Za-Kira as a curious girl who was full of energy.

“Her smile would light up a room,” Dickinson said. “She was just beautiful.”

A 27-year-old Holt man was driving a Dodge Ram pickup truck when he rear-ended the pair, who were in a Hyundai Elantra, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said.

“This guy was texting while behind the wheel,” Dickinson said. “I don't understand what could be that important.”

Johnson's family hopes this tragedy serves as an important reminder.

“You're risking innocent lives and look what happened,” Dickinson said. “If it's that important, just pull over.”



GoFundMe: Gladys and Za-Kira Johnson burial

About the Author:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism