AMARILLO, Texas – A Portland musical theater actor was the lone survivor of a car crash in the Texas panhandle that killed five people Monday.
Timothy Johnson, 30, was sitting in the back seat of a car with five Texas theater members returning from an end-of-the-year party Monday night when the accident occurred, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Christopher Ray said.
The driver disregarded a stop sign and as the vehicle was attempting to turn onto U.S. 287 north of Amarillo, it pulled in front of a southbound 18-wheeler and was hit broadside on the passenger's side, a news release late Tuesday said.
On Thursday, KGW spoke with fellow musical actor and friend, Benjamin Farmer, who starred last year with Johnson in a production of Legally Blonde at the Portland Center for Performing Arts.
Farmer said the accident has had a big impact on the Portland musical theater community. Friends are opening their apartment to collect gifts and cards to Johnson while he recovers in a Texas hospital.
Four of the people killed in the crash were dancers in the production of "Texas" -- a musical that has been performed every summer at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park south of Amarillo for 48 years -- while the fifth worked in the box office, according to Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation Executive Director Kris Miller.
Johnson is a native of Houston, where his family still lives.
His friends have a started a Facebook page with updates and information on how to help. You can find it here.