New Hampshire residents Lisa and Richard Guimond were spending a nice day with their daughters and grandson in Attleboro last Friday when the day suddenly took a tragic turn. With his 4-year-old grandson watching, Richard was struck by a vehicle as he crossed County Street. Authorities say the driver, 46-year-old Attleboro resident Richard Johnson, was drunk, and he was arrested for the second time on an OUI allegation.
Richard, 72, injured both sides of his pelvis, and he is being treated at Rhode Island Hospital. He may need surgery.
"I thank God I'm not a widow or that he had a head injury," she said. "This could have been much worse, but this is horrible what's going on."
As for the allegation this was Johnson's second drunk-driving offense, Lisa said, "This is just ridiculous. I want him to know what he did to my husband."
Lisa's daughter told her that Richard was able to notice the vehicle just before it struck him, and managed to take a couple steps in an attempt to get out of the way. She said those steps probably meant the difference between severe injuries and death. She called it a miracle.
The Guimonds' grandson was horrified by the sight of his grandfather being struck, flown into the air and landing on the hard pavement. Lisa said after a couple days, he was finally able to speak about it.
"He got to visit his grandfather in the hospital [Tuesday]," Lisa said. "It was good for our grandson to see him."
Authorities say Johnson continued driving after striking Guimond. He returned to the scene after being followed by a witness, authorities say. Lisa thanked the unnamed witness for following Johnson. She also thanked Attleboro resident Kim Penque for providing her husband with a blanket immediately after the incident.
"There are a lot of nice people in Attleboro," she said.
Richard is showing signs of improvement, and doctors will determine in the coming days whether he needs surgery. Until then, Lisa remains with him at the hospital in Providence, sleeping in a chair located several hours away from their New Hampshire home.
"I don't know if there's ever going to be normal again," she said. "I guess this is the new normal because somebody decided to drive drunk."
Johnson pleaded not guilty at Attleboro District Court Tuesday to charges of second-offense OUI, OUI causing serious bodily injury and leaving the scene of a crash.