Kennewick driver who fatally struck pedestrian out of jail

By the Herald staffApril 11, 2014 

KENNEWICK -- The Kennewick motorist who struck and killed a pedestrian crossing a street Tuesday has been set free without charges while police further investigate the crash.

Michael S. Johnson, 46, was being held on $100,000 bail for killing Nina Howard while allegedly driving at an excessive speed.

Benton County prosecutors had until Friday to charge him or release him after a 72-hour hold. Prosecutors said more investigation is needed on the case, so Johnson on Friday was released from the Benton County jail without bail.

Police have said Johnson was possibly racing his teen son on West 27th Avenue before hitting Howard as she crossed the busy street.

Three witnesses said the cars appeared to be "street racing."

Howard, 52, of Kennewick, who was not in a crosswalk, routinely took a transit bus to a nearby stop and crossed the street to get to the LAO Buddhist Temple.

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