By Jessie Stensland Assistant editor, Whidbey News-Times
OAK HARBOR — A memorial service will be held Saturday at Oak Harbor High School for twin sisters who died following a traffic accident Oct. 31.
Janesah Danae Goheen, 17, died Monday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle of injuries she received in the crash near Anacortes.
Her twin sister, Janeah Dawn Goheen, was pronounced dead at the accident scene.
The memorial service is to be held at 2 p.m. in the Oak Harbor High School gymnasium, 1 Wildcat Way.
The tragedy has shaken the community to its core, said Paul Kuzina, owner of Whidbey Memorial. The memorial service offers the community an opportunity to honor and remember the girls, grieve together and offer solace, he said.
“The community can come and support the family with their prayers and their love,” he said.
Kuzina said there are no words to describe the family’s grief.
The twins lost a sister, Jessica Goheen Thorn, in a 2008 automobile accident.
The twins attended Oak Harbor schools and were attending Skagit Valley College in the Running Start program this year.
Kuzina said the girls were popular and had many friends at Oak Harbor High School.
Janesah and Janeah Goheen, along with their friend, Alysha Pickler, were on their way to visit “haunted” houses in Seattle on Halloween when their car was struck on Highway 20 near the intersection of Gibralter Road near Anacortes.
According to the Washington State Patrol, a 52-year-old Oak Harbor man was driving his 2006 Ford Mustang south on the highway and “accelerated rapidly” on the highway as he approached the intersection with Gibraltar Road.
The car, which had near-bald rear tires, lost traction on the wet asphalt, began fishtailing, crossed into the oncoming lane and struck the Goheens’ 1993 Acura, the State Patrol report stated.
Pickler and the driver of the Mustang, identified as Ira Blackstock, were injured and taken to Island Hospital. Blackstock was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.
Many in the community have paid tribute to the girls and offered condolences to their family on the Whidbey News-Times’ Web site at www.whidbeynewstimes.com, and on the newspaper’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WhidbeyNews. Family and friends of the Goheen twins are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.whidbeymemorial.com.
Memorial donations in memory of the twins can be made to the Goheen Family Fund at any Whidbey Island Bank branch.
Jessie Stensland: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.
Volunteers are needed to provide food for the Goheen twins’ memorial service Saturday. Organizers are seeking donations of baked goods, fruit or vegetable trays, and appetizers. More than 1,000 people are expected at the service. Food can be dropped off between 12:30-1 p.m. Saturday at the Living Word Church, 490 NW Crosby Ave. For more information, call Michelle Curry at 360-941-9690.