Mother marks 2 years since death of toddler in Little Walnut River crash
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Friday, March 11, marks two years since a tragedy in Leon where nearly-two-year-old Addison Johnson died. She was with her father, Chris Johnson, in his pickup truck near the Little Walnut River in Leon when family says, he drove the truck off an embankment and into the water.
Eyewitness News was with Addison’s mother Friday as she honored her daughter, decorating the bridge over the water.
Family says Addison Jo Johnson was the sweetest little girl who would always leave a smile on your face. The memories of the toddler now reside at the Little Walnut River in Leon, south of El Dorado.
“[Friday] marks two years ago that Addison and her father went into the river due to bad choices made by alcoholism,” Addison’s mother, Janelle Jones said.
On March 11, 2020, Jones said Addison and her father were in his pickup near the river when police approached the truck to get Addison out as Chris had been drinking.
That’s when police said, Chris drove off the embankment and into the river where both he and Addison died.
“We’re calling [March 11] “Addi Day” and people are going by and honking, and some people have already put stuff on the bridge,” Jones said.
Balloons, ribbon and a teddy bear represented the toddler’s memory.
“Because this is the bridge that Addison actually traveled under in the water, they actually didn’t find her for almost a month, on the other side of the bridge, wrapped up in the brush,” Jones said. “We decided to start decorating the bridge for today in memory of Addi. And just to know that people think about her and loved her very much, and they still do. “…We’re just trying to keep the memory of Addison going, not that anyone would ever forget her.”
Jones speaks on the panel for the DUI Victims Center of Kansas, hoping to raise awareness.
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