Last Updated: Friday, 6:20 a.m.
Sharlyn Johnson, 60, of Daytona Beach, was killed Thursday evening (Nov. 14) in a two-vehicle t-bone crash at the intersection of U.S. 1 and Eagle Rock Road, just north of Plantation Bay, and another injured.
Christen Barney, 22, of Bunnell, a nurse, had just gotten off work at the hospital in Ormond Beach and was heading home, north on U.S. 1, at the wheel of her dark Blue Ford Focus. She wasn’t speeding, according to witnesses driving behind her, and she was not impaired, according to a Florida Highway Patrol investigator at the scene.
Johnson was the sister of Earl Johnson, a senior administrator in the Flagler County school district and head of leadership development who previously was the principal at Matanzas High School.
Johnson was at the wheel of a red Dodge Neon, coming out of Eagle Rock. There’s a stop sign at the intersection with U.S. 1. It isn’t clear if Johnson blew through the stop sign or stopped then mis-judged the Ford’s distance. “It’s happened before where people misjudge the traffic, headlights as farther than they are,” the homicide traffic investigator at the scene said. Either way, Johnson pulled out to cross U.S. 1 and make a left onto U.S. 1 south, violating the Ford driver’s right of way, the investigator said.
“It’s a dark road, but it does have one street light,” the investigator said. The stretch south of the intersection was in pitch darkness, the darkness made worse by an overcast, drizzly sky.
The Ford struck the Dodge’s driver’s side, caving it in. The Ford traveled a few dozen feet more and stopped on the left side of the highway, its front end severely damaged. Its air bags had all deployed. Barney was “shook up,” the investigator said. Her father drove her to AdventHealth Palm Coast, he said, to get checked out. Both drivers had worn their seat belts.
Johnson died at the scene. She had been visiting her mother, and had lost her father about a year ago, an investigator said. Johnson’s mother was not at home at the time of the crash. Neighbors gathered at the intersection for several hours, awaiting her return–neighbors and authorities did not know where she was and could not reach her–to ensure that they could comfort her.
The Palm Coast Fire Department, the Palm Coast Fire Police, Flagler County Fire Rescue and the sheriff’s office all responded, as did FHP. The medical examiner arrived at the scene around 9 p.m., though the examiner’s team that was to remove the body to St. Augustine got there after 10 p.m. Saxon’s, the tow company from Bunnell, towed the vehicles. U.S. 1 northbound was entirely shut down from that intersection after 8:30 p.m., and remained closed well past 10 p.m. Traffic was rerouted south and required to travel north on I-95.