News

Vehicular homicide charge in park ranger’s death

POULSBO — The man arrested on suspicion of causing the head-on collision that killed State Park Ranger Ed Johanson in February has been formally charged with vehicular homicide under the influence.

Charles K. Sherman, 35, of Silverdale, was driving eastbound on Holly Road about when the crash occurred Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. Johanson was off-duty and driving home to Seabeck, and was about three miles from his home when the crash occurred. Sherman’s car allegedly crossed the centerline and hit Johanson’s car, which was heading westbound. Johanson died at the scene; Sherman was taken to Harrison Medical Center with facial injuries.

According to the report, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputy on the scene suspected Sherman of being under the influence and requested a blood draw at the hospital. Sherman was arrested and booked into Kitsap County Jail on $500,000 bail, but was released pending toxicology results.

The recently released results show Sherman tested positive for marijuana and methamphetamine. He was charged July 11 and is scheduled to appear in District Court on July 31 at 8:30 a.m.

The report cites witnesses that saw Sherman’s car cross the centerline, but Sherman and the female passenger in his car told officers that night that Johanson’s car “came into my lane and hit me.” Evidence showed the point of impact occurred near the westbound white fog line which, according to the report, indicates Sherman’s car was eastbound in the westbound lane when the collision occurred.

Johanson, 44, was a ranger for about 20 years, serving at Kitsap Memorial State Park northwest of Poulsbo until his recent assignment to Kanaskat-Palmer State Park in the Green River Gorge area. According to friends and colleagues, Johanson was known for his enthusiasm and passion for the job. About 250 people, including Gov. Chris Gregoire, County Commissioner Rob Gelder, Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson, State Parks Director Don Hoch and many law enforcement officers attended Johanson’s memorial service March 2 at Gateway Fellowship in Poulsbo.

“Ed wanted people to love the parks the way he did, and get as much out of their park experience as possible. That’s passion for you,” Hoch said at the service.

Johanson was a baseball and soccer coach for many years, and had recently created Creations INK, drawing cartoons of family, neighbors, fellow park rangers and his soccer team. His illustrations can be viewed on his website, www.creationsink.com.

A longtime resident of the Central Kitsap area, he is survived by his parents, Keith and Edna; fiance Leigh Kessell; sons Brandon and Nicholas; former wife Deanna Evans; brother Ray; six nieces and four nephews; uncles, Richard Anderson (Anita), Dennis Johanson (Shirley), Ron Johanson; aunt Barbara Wilson (Mike); and several cousins, friends and acquaintances.

 

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