Woman Unknowingly Live-Tweets Her Own Husband’s Death In Horrific Tragedy


In one of the more gut wrenching displays of social media’s grotesque way to capture the worst parts of life, a woman unknowingly live tweeted her own husband’s death yesterday.

Caran Johnson tweets local news and traffic reports in Vancouver, Washington, and began providing information yesterday about a car crash. Eventually, she started wondering where her husband was, and began to worry that he might be involved.



This is such a nightmare to read, because haven’t we all moments where we can’t get in touch with a loved one and we assume the worst? It’s stomach churning just to think about it, but unfortunately, it gets a lot worse. Johnson eventually called the police in search of her husband and later tweeted the heartbreaking result:

I’m trying to think of ways to put this in a larger context about how social media pervades every single part of our lives, and it would make sense that something like death of a loved one would get live tweeted, even if accidentally. But mostly I’m over empathizing with this woman and feeling queasy.

This is the second time in two days that we’ve reported on social media under grisly circumstances – yesterday, a woman posted a Facebook status accurately predicting her own death. It’s surreal and uncomfortable to say that this will probably become more common than we think – I have seen more than one Emergency Room visit chronicled on my news feed in the last week alone, complete with pictures and bi-hourly status updates (although Johnson’s incident is different, because she had no idea she was tweeting a personal story).

I could tell you that there’s a silver lining to this story, and there is at least some positivity surrounding the tragedy. Johnson has received an outpouring of support from the online community, and she’s been responding to the comments which I assume is helping her cope. While that’s of course positive and uplifting, I’m pretty sure Johnson doesn’t want community support – she just wants her husband back.

Photo: Shutterstock

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    • Lindsey Conklin

      oh that last tweet makes my stomach drop! that’s so sad!

    • Amber Starr

      How horrible. I can’t even imagine being in her shoes….

    • Mel

      I’m so sorry about this woman’s loss, but live tweeting anyone’s tragic car accident is terrible. People should stop posting the gory details about other people’s lives all over the internet. Turns out it’s not so fun and interesting when the tables are unfortunately turned on the person posting. It’s so sad that her husband died but the fact that it was live-tweeted was her own fault.

      • elle

        Hmm there’s no linked article so I can’t be 100% sure but my guess is she was tweeting that an accident happened, traffic delays, and updates not giving g the gory details. Also I’m not really sure it was “her fault” it is her job…..

      • Mel

        Perhaps YOU should read more before commenting. It was not “her job,” at least according to CNN. She’s someone who followed info broadcast on police scanners and live tweeted that info. It was just an unfortunate coincidence this time, but it would have been just as awful if she was live tweeting the death of a stranger.

      • elle

        http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/caran-johnson-accidentally-live-tweets-husbands-fatal-car-crash/story-fnjwnhzf-1226776123918 ok I hope this works cuz I’m on my kindle but here is a link with more details and you can kind of feel like a jerk for your comments without knowing the details.

      • Mel

        Wow, name calling is a good way to have a conversation.

        I’ve read the articles about this. This was not her job, it’s something she did for fun. I don’t comment without knowing details. I feel deep empathy for her loss. I don’t feel empathy for the fact that it was live-tweeted, as she was the one who did it herself.

        This is a good lesson in why it’s inappropriate to live tweet any awful thing. It serves no purpose other than to feed the morbid curiosity of strangers. This was a horrible turn of events that will hopefully serve as proof that we should show each other more respect than to post the experiences of strangers online for gawkers.

    • DatNanny

      This makes my stomach lurch.

      My mom calls her kids every time she sees or hears of an accident somewhere we might be. She always laughs at herself as we pick up and we tease her, but I never want her to experience that fear being validated like this. I can’t imagine this woman’s grief.