PORTLAND, Maine — On Aug. 22, 2021, Brandon Johansen drove on the wrong side of I-295 in Portland as he attempted to drive home to Bath. Investigators said his blood alcohol content was well above the legal drinking limit.
After driving three miles north on the southbound lane, Johansen hit a car head-on. Police said he was driving roughly 65 MPH at the time.
Jennifer Marrone was the driver of that car. She and two teenage employees were driving home after working a catering event earlier in the day.
“My life was almost over, like done. You had a good run, Jen," Marrone said before the court sentencing on Thursday.
Along with a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence, a judge ruled Johansen will be on probation for four years, will have to take substance abuse classes, and upon his release, he will have to pay 20 percent of his gross income to the victims for medical reimbursement while on probation.
Marrone told NEWS CENTER Maine that in the seconds before the head-on collision, she thought her life was over. First responders later told Marrone she was a few minutes away from bleeding to death.
The next 21 months presented a constant cycle of surgeries, physical therapy appointments, and therapist meetings.
In the crash, Marrone broke her sternum, ribs, and fingers, and shattered bones in both legs. Marrone said doctors thought they'd have to amputate her right leg. She was in a wheelchair for months and just recently began to drive.
"I’m still going to be in physical therapy. I’m still under the care of surgeons. I’m still not back to working," she added.
While the physical rehab and recovery will continue, Morrane said the emotional and trauma elements of the crash still stick with her.
The two teenagers in the car with Marrone shared they are both still dealing with physical and emotional impacts from that day. The two suffered concussions, which are still affecting them almost two years later.
In front of the judge, one of the teenagers said she has had to miss school activities like class, sports, and events because of her concussion symptoms and other injuries.
Before the judge read his sentence, Johansen apologized for what he has put the victims and their families through. He took accountability for his actions and elected to begin his prison sentence immediately.
Morrane had been looking for this day of justice for months. The original sentencing date had been delayed more than once.
“It’s a new chapter, and I’m so excited for it," she added.
Morrane added she is beyond thankful for the outpouring of support from friends and family, many of whom were in the courtroom with her Thursday.