Driver Sentenced In Crash That Killed Infant

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MONTROSE -- A driver who caused a crash in Susquehanna County that killed a 6-month-old girl will spend the next two to five years in prison.

A judge sentenced Zachary Larue of Kingsley Thursday morning in Montrose.

Last month, Larue pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle and aggravated assault.

It was an emotional day for the family of 6-month-old Lainey Johnson, who died last year following the crash.

"We're glad Lainey got some kind of justice," says Lindsay Johnson, Lainey's mother. "But even in our mind, it's never going to be enough."

State police say 22-year-old Zachary Larue was speeding last year on Route 92 near Lenox when he caused a three-vehicle crash.

Lindsay Johnson was driving with 6-month-old Lainey when Larue's truck collided with their SUV.

"Obviously it was a real tragic situation but it was an unintentional situation," says Paul Ackourey, Larue's attorney.

Six different members of the Johnson family spoke in court, several directly to Zachary Larue, and urged the judge for a strict sentence.

"Obviously it's hard to look him in the eyes,"says Jake Johnson, Lainey's father. "I was kind of relieved to finally tell him how we felt. It's never going to be enough."

"He couldn't even say sorry to us in there so I'm glad it's over," Lindsay Johnson adds.

While Johnson family members say they`re relieved to see Larue behind bars, they say his sentence should have been longer.

"Lainey can never come back to us," says Susan Young, Lainey's grandmother. "He spends a short time in jail and he goes on with his life. We have to live with this forever."

After Zachary Larue serves his prison sentence, he'll have to spend nine years on probation.


  • Ziai

    Sick of hearing that this was a mistake. If his parents taught him how to drive responsibly, maybe he would have thought about how his choice of driving too fast and reckless could hurt or kill someone. With his lifestyle he should have never been behind a wheel of any vehicle. That was the mistake. That poor Johnson family. My heart breaks for them.

  • disgusted

    And….take the time to read the article in the Scranton Times that was printed the day after his sentencing. The DA states that the day of his plea agreement to the 2-5 years he heads off to a party and it’s posted all over social media. So to all of you that have posted….”oh, it’s a speeding situation and we’ve all made mistakes..blah blah blah”…there you have it”……he hasn’t learned his lesson…it’s a lifestyle for him and he obviously hasn’t learned his lesson! So before you run to his defense and pour salt into the wounds of the Johnson family by doing so, think twice! He hasn’t even apologized to the family, redemption and forgiveness can only be obtained by actions and his actions sure are not doing it! So until all of you bleeding hearts know what is going on for certain, be careful “running to his defense”. It just makes you look silly.

    • unbelievable

      You should be ashamed of yourself as well. Completely insensitive. The Johnson family will never ever get to see their daughter again because of him and you have the nerve to post a comment like that. You make me sick.

    • disgusted

      Your insensitivity amazes me! It ranks right up there with his inability to at least man up and look the Johnson’s in their eyes and say he’s sorry! The fact that he couldn’t do that shows he has not taken 1 step towards TRULY taking responsibility for his actions. Some say the road to “redemption” begins with asking for forgiveness from the ones you have wronged….I believe that would be the Johnson’s in this situation and he sure hasn’t done that!

    • BZ22

      This family needs to comprehend a tiny piece what the Johnson family will endure for the rest of their lives. They and their son had multiple chances to change in order to avoid the situation they’ve brought on themselves. It’s unfortunate another family was devastated by their blatant disregard and defiance of the system and the opportunities they were given! They can see their son. The Johnson’s visit a grave!

  • Sick

    oh by the way you pple who said its just accident and he learn his lesson well guess what….he didn’t….he broke his truck right before he went to…DRAG RACING…wow he feels bad …NOT

  • Sick

    And WHY COULDN’T HE SAY HE WAS SORRY…NEVER DID HE….selfish and then her is on face book in short shorts boots and parting and going to a concert …really …is there no shames

  • Horrible!

    He was on probation and should have been violated and been in jail this whole time! He has a record is a known trouble maker! The only reason he got out is because his mommy “works for” if you call sleeping with the company men for the gas company and has money! Bless that poor girl!

  • Dyl

    Zachs a very good kid he would do anything for anyone and not ask questions or think twice. Accidents happen and that’s all it was an accident he didn’t wake up one morning saying I’m gonna get into a car accident. The awnser is NO for all you slow people. No ones perfect everybody makes mistakes it’s a part of life! I don’t remember anyone talking about all the men and women who were injured and died in Iraq. But any how just because almost all of you people can now just afford a computer or Internet due to the natural gas industries just go on with your pathetic life’s and stop bad mouthing Zach. As much effort as you put into saying all this stuff on here maybe you should put it into cleaning up your double wides and actually get flower pots instead of toilets. It’s over with so I wouldn’t even bother anymore. Have a great day everybody 😘

    Sign: Dyl xoxoxo

    • A

      You remind me of the loser who gets a tattoo of his rapist cousin, after he killed himself rather than get raped in jail.

    • Janice

      I agree DYL. Boys speed! My son has two speeding tickets and finally learned. But never meant to harm anyone by speeding. These people are full of it. How fast was he going,15 mph over? That’s nothing! We’re allowed 8 on highway I believe. Anyone who actually goes the speed limit better be driving in the slow lane and get out of EVERYBODY’s way. I don’t know the full story, they didn’t give all details, but these people want to kill this kid they don’t even know, yet PRETEND they care so much for human life.

      • BZ22

        Yes, people speed but there’s much more to this story and he’d accepted a punishment just two weeks prior to this accident happening. The Johnson family paid a very high price for him not learning a lesson or respecting the opportunity he’d been given.

      • unbelievable

        Janice, You should be ashamed of yourself. You are heartless. Have you ever lost a child?…. My guess from this statement is No. You don’t seem to care much for human life either. Lets see how you would feel if your son was killed by a reckless driver. I would like to see what you would have posted then. Think before you speak.

      • disgusted

        I don’t see anyone saying they want to kill this kid….and mam, if you did know the whole story, you would realize it’s not just a “speeding” issue…it’s a lifestyle choice that this boy has led for years that ended in the death of a child…just clearing this up for you.

    • disgusted

      DYL: I hope you realize that your comment is really out in “left field.” Mentioning Iraq, doublewides, people finally being able to afford computers, flower pots and toilets shows you have absolutely no clue about the real issue here. No one is saying anyone “wakes up” and says “I wanna be in an accident today”. But when someone has chosen years and years of reckless behavior and utter disregard for the law and responsibility and what the outcome could be of his reckless behavior is essentially waking up everyday and saying “F U” to the world! And this young child paid the price! If he is the “oh so wonderful kinda guy” you try to portray him to be, why didn’t he man up and atleast apologize to the family?!!??! Yeesh!!!

    • BZ22

      This was not a singular “mistake” and please don’t insult the Johnson’s by trying to pass it off as such. He may be a nice kid but wasn’t he put into a program two weeks prior to this accident which revoked his license? Instead of good behavior he continued to speed and take chances! He was given opportunities to change which he didn’t appreciate and take advantage of. If he had, Lainey would still be alive today.

  • A

    Correct me if I’m wrong……….but wasn’t this the accident that happened in the afternoon involving three guys in a truck who were all drunk?!?! Oh, sorry ….. Susquehanna County. Again, under the rug it goes.

  • jeremy

    I think 2-5 years and 9 years probation is enough seeing how he has to live with it the rest of his life you people disgust me to even think hes going to be out enjoying his life how do you enjoy your life when you have to live with that on your concious. I feel horrible for the family of the little girl dont get me wrong im a father of 3 and id kill to protect my kids but everyones acting like his life is going to be all fun and games but i doubt it will if i was in his shoes but i was driving perfect i wouldnt be able to live with myself but everybody can read his mind and knows how hes thinking i guess

    • BZ22

      Read the account in the Times-Tribune today, especially the D.A.’s comments. Apologizing to the family in court yesterday would have been a place to start as well!

  • Bleh

    This is not a failure of the justice system but a success. A man will spend the next decade rebuilding his life, a childs life was lost, and that is tragic, if we made everyone lose a decade of their life over accidents/mistakes, everyone would be in jail. I don’t know this man or the family of the child but this is justice. God forbid one of you make a mistake.

    • BZ22

      He had been given that opportunity to “rebuild” his life and two weeks later chose to speed causing the accident that took this baby’s innocent life and changed a family forever! If the penal system had worked faster and more efficiently that first time the baby might be alive today! Unfortunately, once again, the victims paid the high price for that failure and mistake.

    • disgusted

      Yes, this is a failure of the justice system as this wasn’t just an accident…this was an end result of many years of a lifestyle that this individual had chosen…he had made many mistakes and still hadn’t learned his lesson…maybe if the justice system had worked better before hand this accident wouldn’t have happened…but it took a loss of a baby’s life to put him behind bars. Yes, he has to “live” with it the rest of his life but so does Lainey’s family and who’s grief runs deeper?! I certainly think Lainey’s family’s does, don’t you?! So, sorry….no sympathy for Mr. Larue………

  • Bren

    That poor mother, having lost her baby, will now in two to five years see this joker out driving around, living his life, enjoying friends and family and fun. Probation means nothing to an idiot like that. What a sad, sad state of affairs.

  • disgusted

    Why did this sentence not surprise me?! 2-5 years and 9 years probation is a joke! This poor child’s life was ended; a family is forever devastated! He couldn’t even be man enough to apologize to the family! Remorse, that’s another joke too! Continued prayers to the Johnson Family – your community will always be beside you and here for you as we all know what kind of sentence SHOULD have been handed out!

  • Susie

    In response to Paul Akourey’s statement saying Zack Is remorseful and that the accident was unintentional……..
    It was intentional because he chose to drive that fast and reckless. Zack had nothing to say after the sentencing which proves he has no remorse.

  • enraged

    Justice system has failed again. Him, his family, the d.a and judge should be ashamed. Dont know how anyone could sleep at night knowing a life was taken with out remorse and with out justice. Rest in peace lainey. Prayers to the johnson family

  • Harry

    He’s been on probation before. Everyone who knows him feared something like this would happen eventually. If anyone had ever put a stop to his actions, Lainey would still be here.

  • true_archer

    What a heartbreak for this family because of reckless and indifferent individuals who think they’re above the law. The sentence definitely doesn’t fit the crime. 10 years should be the least as if that would offer any comfort? Nothing will bring this little one back to her family, and life will go on for him.

  • BZ22

    The nine years probation sounds good but who enforces it these days? They all normally state no alcohol, no bars but how does anyone even know they’re on probation? It’s not like there’s a Megan’s Law list or their form of I.D. has anything to state it. For far too many, probation means N/C for No Change and life goes on as usual. Even if they happen to get caught, too many judges give them another slap on the wrist, send them out the door and tell them not to do it again!

  • Jeff M

    Really? This is all he gets? What is wrong with this judge!! He knew the risks by speeding and driving recklessly. This poor little girl will never get to experience school, dances, a boyfriend, marriage, children of her own.. Missing all the holidays and birthdays. The smiles and love she got to miss out on because of this jerk. He can’t even apologize? He’s scum. He should be put away for life. RIP Lainey :(

    • A

      Because this judge has, and always will, make decisions based off the last name. I’m sure Legg won’t be any different when he is in control of CORRUPTION COUNTY.

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