Watterson Expressway crash: Donovan Johnson, Shelbyville, KY, basketball player died in an accident on I-264

Donovan Johnson died in a crash. (Source: Facebook)
Donovan Johnson died in a crash. (Source: Facebook)


Donovan Johnson, a basketball player from Shelbyville, Kentucky, passed away in an accident on the westbound lanes of Interstate 264. Donovan Johnson’s life came to an end after colliding with a vehicle, leaving a void in the world of basketball sports. The catastrophic injuries that followed the crash proved fatal. Without a doubt, to know Donovan Johnson was to know his humour, pride, loyalty, and love. Keep reading to know more about the Watterson Expressway crash in detail.


Watterson Expressway crash:

According to the Shively Police Department, a collision on the I-264 early on Wednesday morning claimed the lives of two people.

Police were called to report a collision in the westbound lanes of I-264 at the Cane Run Road exit at about 1:30 a.m. When they arrived, they discovered two cars that had collided.

At the site, both drivers were declared deceased. There were no additional passengers in the cars.

The I-264 was closed as a result of the collision for approximately five hours while the site was cleared.

At this moment, the victims’ identities, ages, and genders are unknown.

Although we learned about one of the deceased victims from the condolence tweets of his friends that he was a basketball player from Shelbyville, Kentucky, identified as Donovan Johnson.

Donovan Johnson died in a crash. (Source: Facebook)
Donovan Johnson died in a crash. (Source: Facebook)


His former team, the Manchester Giants, also posted a condolence message for him on Facebook.

It read,

“The Manchester Giants are deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of our former player, Donovan Johnson.

Our thoughts are with Donovan’s loved ones at this difficult time. Rest in Peace, Donovan.”

The cause of the collision is being investigated.

I-264 West was closed for several hours while workers removed the scene from Dixie Highway to Cane Run Road. At around six in the morning, it reopened.


Who was Donovan Johnson?

Donovan Johnson was a Professional basketball player from Shelbyville, Kentucky.

He was a 6’6″ forward, who is 28 years old and previously played for Ameghino de Villa Maria in Argentina, was signed by Manchester Giants in 2020.

The seasoned pro has played in five different South American countries, including a title-winning season in Paraguay in 2016–17 with Olimpia de Asuncion when Johnson led all scorers with 20 points in the Play-off Championship game.

The following year, he had success in Chile as well, helping AB Ancud to a 20-12 record while averaging 16 points and 8 rebounds per game and shooting 43% from outside the arc.

After that, he joined Ameghino for a second stint in Argentina, where he averaged 12 points and five rebounds while shooting 57% from the field, 48% from three, and 85% from the line.

Along with his long-standing reputation for stifling defence, Johnson has a career field goal percentage of 41% from beyond the arc on more than 300 attempts and a lifetime free-throw percentage of 79% on more than 500 attempts.

He competed in the $2 million Basketball Tournament in 2019 for Team KBC, the same squad as Victor Moses, a two-time nominee for the BBL MVP.

His main responsibility on that team was guarding the best players on the other team, including 7’1″ Isaiah Austin, a former first-round draft projection for the NBA who has played at a high level in China, 6’11” Willie Reed, who has played in 152 regular-season games in the NBA, and Quincy Miller, who has appeared in 69 games for the NBA and has averaged up to 25 points per game in the NBA G-League and 14 points in the Euroleague.

Johnson played NCAA Division 2 basketball with the eight-time National Champions Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers before beginning his professional career.

In his final season with the Panthers, he averaged 10 points and 7 rebounds per game, leading the club in the latter statistic as it won 71% of its games and advanced to the Conference Tournament Final in 2013–14.

In those tournament games, Johnson made a major impact, leading the team with 19 points in the quarterfinal and adding 14 points on 7-8 shooting with eight rebounds in the semifinal.

He had previously excelled in high school in Kentucky. Johnson also attended Wabash Valley College, where he started his first two seasons and averaged nine points and six rebounds per game as the team won 78% of its games and advanced to the NJCAA National Championship round.

Head Coach Danny Byrne said,

“Donovan brings a really unique mix of attributes to the team,”

“He is an elite defender, with length, great foot speed, and intensity; and he tends to guard the opposition’s best player almost without exception and regardless of size.

“He is a great shooter and good decision-maker, efficient offensively, and doesn’t need to see much of the ball to get points on the board.

“On top of that, he brings a great deal of experience from a number of rugged South American leagues. With his experience and character I expect him to be a glue-guy for this group. He’s really well poised to make an impact at both ends of the floor in the BBL this season.”

The Newcastle Eagles club parted ways with the American forward in October 2022, and Johnson later signed a new contract in Greece.

Unfortunately, Donovan Johnson’s life was cut short when his car collided with another vehicle, causing serious injuries that turned deadly. Donovan Johnson’s departure serves as a sobering reminder of both the transience of life and the significant influence he had on basketball athletics.

His death serves as a reminder of the brevity of life and the suddenness of such catastrophes. In the world of basketball athletics, where Donovan Johnson was well-known for his skill set and strengths, his untimely passing has left a vacuum.


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