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Cody Woman Sentenced After Crashing Car Into A Restaurant

El Vaquero restaurant

A woman who crashed into the El Vaquero restaurant on Big Horn Avenue back in March of 2023, pinning a person under her vehicle, will spend the next four to six years in prison.

According to court records, Heather L Johnson received the sentence on a felony count of property destruction and a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.  It was Johnson’s third DUI in the past decade.

Back in 2023, Johnson, 59, tried turning onto Big Horn Avenue from Blackburn Street at about 8:30PM when she careened over the curb and into the south-facing front of the restaurant, pinning a young man under her Dodge.  The restaurant was closed at the time, but according to one of the worker’s, Johnson tried to back the car out of the restaurant only to be stopped when the worker reached in and “turned off the truck and took the keys,” Cody police wrote in their report.

Johnson admitted to consuming a large amount of vodka that day, in addition to using marijuana, a muscle-relaxant prescription, and ketamine.

District Court Judge Bill Simpson ordered Johnson to pay $41,872.11 in restitution to cover the victim’s medical bills and destroyed property, in addition to the prison sentence.

The Park County prosecutor says it appears the damage to the building was covered by insurance, but if it isn’t, Johnson could be ordered to pay more restitution.

During her sentence, Johnson reached a plea deal, having the misdemeanor charge of reckless driving dismissed as well as Johnson pleading guilty to the DUI and no contest to the property destruction.

The county attorney’s office initially charged Johnson with a felony count of aggravated assault — alleging she had caused “serious bodily injury” — but later changed it to property destruction.

Johnson will be transported to a Wyoming Department of Corrections facility, possibly this week.

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