Pascagoula man charged in hit-and run that left woman 'legally d - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pascagoula man charged in hit-and run that left woman 'legally dead'

James Earl Williams (Photo source: Pascagoula Police Department) James Earl Williams (Photo source: Pascagoula Police Department)
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

A Pascagoula man is now behind bars charged in a hit and run accident involving a wife and mother. Police said 38-year-old Annette Johnston was hit late Sunday night while walking home from work in the area of Nathan Hale Avenue and Chicot Road. 

Police also said Johnston's family told them she is 'legally dead' but remains on life support at USA Medical Center in Mobile as they are donating her organs.

"The initial reaction was shock," said Dr. Myrick Nicks. Nicks is the principal at Colmer Middle in Pascagoula where Annette Johnston's son attends school. He said it's heartbreaking to hear what happened to his student's mother.

"It is hard to hear that no matter if it is your parent or someone else's parent, so it was initial shock and it was saddens after that it is one of our own student's parent," said Nicks.

According to Pascagoula Police, Annette Johnston would walk home from her job at the Dollar General because she lived nearby. But Sunday night during her usual trek, the unthinkable happened.

:When officers arrived, they found that Johnston was struck and on the side of the road. She was unconscious. She had injuries to her head and to her body area," said Pascagoula Police Captain Shannon Massey.

Massey said police began canvassing the neighborhoods looking for who could have done this. Within a few hours, they had located the car they believe was involved in the hit and run. Tuesday they arrested Pascagoula resident James Earl Williams.

"We will charge the suspect with felony leaving the scene of an accident."

While Williams sits behind bars, Johnston's husband has poured out his grief on Facebook saying, "A hit and run driver just shattered the love of my life and mother of our two children. Annette has severe brain swelling, broken hip, and they had to remove her spleen."

Friends at Colmer Middle School have begun raising money for the family.

"Whenever someone goes through something it's always good to show them that they are loved and we are thinking about them and a token of our support," said Nicks.

Williams is awaiting an initial appearance before Judge Michael Fondren. No date has been set at this time.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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