Family protests suicide ruling in death of Canton firefighter

RAW: Family 'wants justice' for Canton firefighter killed on SR 8
Tonya Johnson was killed on State Route 8 in Akron in February 2016. (Source: Facebook)
Tonya Johnson was killed on State Route 8 in Akron in February 2016. (Source: Facebook)
Johnson was killed on Route 8. (Source: WOIO)
Johnson was killed on Route 8. (Source: WOIO)

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - A family held a news conference in Akron outside the Summit County Medical Examiner's officer.

The family of Tonya Johnson questioned the ruling that Johnson, a Canton firefighter committed suicide.

Last week, the Summit County Medical Examiner and the Akron Police Department ruled the death Tonya Rae Johnson a suicide.

The 43-year-old Canton firefighter was killed in a traffic crash on Feb. 22 on Route 8 near the Tallmadge Avenue Exit ramp.

Police say Johnson was riding with her husband of eight days when she got out of their SUV, ran across three lanes of southbound traffic, jumped the median wall, and was struck by a pick-up truck traveling northbound.

"We will continue to challenge the medical examiner's ruling until it properly reflects the events of that tragic evening — and the life and strength of the mother, daughter, friend, and co-worker that we all knew and loved," said her son, Trevon Boone, in a news release Wednesday.

The family questioned the thoroughness of the investigation, since no one ever talked with any family members.

According to a release by the family. Johnson showed no signs of someone considering suicide. The family said she made a phone call to her cousin to pick her up after getting out of the SUV on the highway.

Johnson's cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. The medical examiner's final ruling has not been released yet.

The family would like the ruling to be listed as accidental.

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