June 27, 2013 10:14:17 AM
A Columbus man was charged with DUI-maiming after his passenger suffered a broken neck in a car crash.
William Zackery Johnson, 20, of 350 Deer Trail, was arrested on Tuesday after investigators with the Columbus Police Department determined Johnson was intoxicated at the time of an accident that occurred at the Luxipalila Creek Park on June 22.
Reports say Johnson and his passenger, Christiana Berger, 22, were leaving the park when Johnson lost control of the vehicle and veered off the road and hit a tree head on. Berger was thrown into the windshield and had to be airlifted to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Johnson was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, where he was treated and released.
Neither Johnson nor Berger was wearing a seatbelt.
According to CPD Public Information Officer Glenda Buckhalter, Berger suffered a broken neck and other severe injuries. Buckhalter said the maiming charge comes from "permanent injuries or permanent disfigurement."
Johnson is currently in the custody of the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center on $5,000 bond.
Berger remains in the hospital.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.