Motorist held for vehicular homicide in Kennewick woman's death

April 8, 2014 

Nina Howard, 52, of Kennewick, was killed Tuesday afternoon as she was crossing 27th Avenue, police said.

SARAH GORDON — Tri-City Herald Buy Photo

— A 52-year-old Kennewick woman was killed Tuesday afternoon as she was crossing busy 27th Avenue, police said.

Nina Howard was crossing in the middle of the block just west of the intersection with Ely Street near Heritage Nursery about 4 p.m. when she was hit by a 1966 Chevy Nova, police said.

Howard died at the scene, said Kennewick police Sgt. Ken Lattin.

The driver of the Nova, Michael S. Johnson, 46, of Kennewick, stopped and was interviewed by police. He will be booked into the Benton County jail on a 72-hour incarceration hold on suspicion of vehicular homicide, Lattin said.

The case is still under investigation. Although Nina Howard was crossing mid-block without a crosswalk, it appears that the speed of the vehicle was a factor in the collision, Lattin said.

There may have been a landscaping truck pulling a trailer that was also eastbound at the same location as Michael Johnson just before the collision occurred, Lattin said. Police would like to speak to the driver of that vehicle, who may have been a witness.

If someone has information that they would like to provide while remaining confidential, they may call the Crime Stoppers line at 586-TIPS (8477), 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit

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