Woman in ICU after hitting pole while on motorcycle

An Austin woman is in a hospital fighting for her life after crashing into a telephone pole

Austin police believe someone with malicious intent placed the pole in the middle of Bolm Road. Now, along with police, family and friends are searching for answers.

It was a freak accident that gave beloved biker Ethel Johnson, a severe brain injury. Her friend of 20 years Daniel Osborne knew something was wrong when she did not show up to meet a friend early Sunday morning.

“Somebody put something in the road. It was dark and foggy and even though she was wearing a helmet, jacket, gloves and boots, all protective gear, she just didn't have a chance,” Osborne said.

Austin police say Johnson was traveling east in the 4900 block of Bolm Road when she hit part of a telephone pole that had been placed in the middle of the road. Police say, initially, the pole was laying on the side of the road but was moved. Due to weather conditions, Johnson could not see it, until it was too late.

“We just can't imagine somebody would intentionally harm somebody else. Austin roads are dangerous enough as it is,” Osborne said.

Johnson is in ICU at University Medical Center Brackenridge. Family and friends are hoping for a speedy recovery.

“She's not in a medically induced coma, but she's just not responsive,” Osborne said.

The family has raised $2,000 for a reward for any leads to the right person. The community placed signs reading, "Gonna find you" near the point of impact on the street. Osborne is just hoping he can see Ethel, like her old self again.

“We just have to have faith they're going to help her and get her back to us as soon as they can,” he said.

If you have any information, contact police immediately.

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