Disabled man, child hit by SUV in NW Houston

January 5, 2012 8:31:40 AM PST
A man in a wheelchair, who was carrying a child, was hit by an SUV and killed. The baby is fine, but those who live around the accident site say it could have been prevented.

Cliff Johnson, 56, died at the hospital, but his actions may have saved the life of the toddler riding on his scooter with him.

"The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away," Rowana Hubbard, the victim's mother, said.

Hubbard only had one child, and on Wednesday night, she saw him for the last time.

"He told me he was going down on Dewalt, that he'd be back. He told me he loved me and I said, 'OK, be careful,'" Hubbard said.

Johnson was riding his motorized scooter with his girlfriend's two-year-old son, Germany, on his lap. As he drove around standing water in a crosswalk along West Montgomery near Furguson Way, he was struck by a car, yet was still cradling the child when he landed.

"As he flew several feet, about 20 feet they say, he was holding onto the child as he was getting ejected from the power chair and never let go," said Sam Kong with the HPD Accident Investigation Unit.

Johnson's mother isn't surprised at her son's actions.

"He loved children. It surprised me because he left me. I didn't want him to go," Hubbard said.

The scooter had given Johnson, a diabetic patient, freedom after his leg was amputated two years ago.

His mother says she worried about him but never imagined something like this.

"I'm glad he saved the child but I'd rather have him, too. I want him back," Hubbard said.

Police say the driver, who's in his 20's, had the right of way so he is not facing charges at this time. Investigators took a blood alcohol test as part of standard procedure.