For years people packed bars and venues to watch Michael Johnson, known as Michael Johanson, play.

“I am blessed and thankful for Michael Johanson,” friend and fellow musician Matthew Dee Edmondson said.

Edmonson, vocalist for Killing Grace, says he knew Michael for decades.

“He was happy-go-lucky. He didn't think about the world around him, he was lost in his own world," Edmondson said.

Edmondson says they were incredible attributes that unfortunately lead to Michael’s death.

“It is so hard to say what he was doing isn’t something I would have done,” Edmondson said.

Michael’s phone and a pair of earbuds were found near his body. He was hit by a train while walking near the tracks in Belle Meade.

Midstate man hit by train was on the verge of great things

“It's a growing problem,” Michael’s sister Colleen Smith said. “My brother was a victim of distracted pedestrian walking."

Smith only met Michael 15 months ago, but in the short time she says she learned he was always there to help others.

"I think Mike would really want to try to save additional lives if possible by educating the public,” Smith said. “You need to be aware. You need to take your safety into your own hands."

Smith says that could be only wearing one earbud or just making sure to keep an eye on your surroundings.

“This happened in a second, it was a tragedy and it can happen to them,” Michael’s sister Lisa Johnson said.

Michael’s family and friends hoping their loss can save another life.

"If you could just be aware of your surroundings at all times, it will save so much heartache,” Edmondson said.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Brittany Weiner joined the News4 team as a reporter in July 2018.

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