Portland actor lone survivor of 5-fatality TX wreck

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by Evan Sernoffsky, kgw.com staff and AP staff.

KREM.com

Posted on August 16, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 16 at 11:21 AM

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.

More: Alcohol containers found in 5-fatality Texas wreck

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.

 

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