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Alcohol, drugs a nonfactor in Oct. 31 fatal crash

The man accused of causing the accident that killed twin sisters from Oak Harbor last Halloween night was not intoxicated at the time of the accident, according to his attorney.

Toxicology results show that Ira Blackstock, 53, of Oak Harbor was “completely clean” at the time of the accident, Coupeville attorney Charles Arndt said this week.

Prosecutors charged Blackstock in Skagit County Superior Court Nov. 6 with two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault.

Janeah Goheen, a 17-year-old Oak Harbor resident, died at the scene of the Oct. 31, 2013 accident on State Highway 20 near Anacortes; her twin sister, Janesah Goheen, was injured and passed away at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Their friend, Alysha Pickler, 18, of Oak Harbor, suffered a concussion.

Detective Craig Cardinal with the Washington State Patrol told the Whidbey News-Times in November that troopers found no indication that Blackstock was drinking prior to the crash, but his blood was drawn after field sobriety tests showed signs of possible impairment from medication or drugs.

Arndt said State Patrol investigations are still looking into the cause of the accident. He said they’re trying to analyze a “black box” from the car that may have recorded his speed prior to the collision.

Skagit County Prosecutor Richard Weyrich did not return a call for comment.

Under Washington state law, there are three “prongs” to the vehicular homicide and vehicular assault charges.

Those prongs cover driving while impaired, driving in a reckless manner and driving with disregard for others. Each prong has different standard sentence ranges; the DUI-related version is the most serious.

Blackstock was charged under all alternatives of the charges.

According to Cardinal’s report about the accident, Blackstock was driving his 2006 Ford Mustang south on Highway 20 from “Sharpe’s Corner” in Skagit County and “accelerated rapidly” as he approached the intersection at Gibraltar Road.

The car, which had near-bald rear tires, broke traction on the wet asphalt, began to fishtail side-to-side and crossed into the oncoming lane, according to investigative reports.

The Mustang struck an oncoming 1993 Acura driven by Janesah Goheen just after 5 p.m.

“The purposeful and reckless acceleration by Ira L. Blackstock caused his Ford Mustang to strike the oncoming Acura four-door close to the northbound fog line of State Route No. 20‚“ Cardinal wrote in his report.

Court records show that Blackstock was issued three speeding tickets in 2013.

Blackstock’s trial date is continued to April 14. He was released from jail after posting $200,000 bail in November.

 

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