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Local park ranger mourned

State Parks staff were notified late Feb. 25 of a fatal auto accident in which Washington State Parks ranger, Ed Johanson was killed.Johanson, 44, was off duty and driving home in his private vehicle at the time of the head-on collision in the Central Kitsap area, near where Johanson lived.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s office investigated the accident and said indicated in a news release that the driver of the other car was arrested for vehicular homicide. Drugs or alcohol were suspected to be involved.Johanson worked as a ranger for 20 years, serving at Kitsap Memorial State Park near Seabeck until his recent assignment to Kanaskat Palmer State Park in the Green River Gorge area.

According to state coworkers, Johanson was known for his enthusiasm and passion. He was someone who considered being a ranger as an identity rather than just a job, according to close co-workers.

“This is very sad. Ed will be sorely missed,” said Don Hoch, agency director.

Gov. Chris Gregoire also expressed her condolences. “Like so many of our employees, Ranger Ed Johanson was the type who went above and beyond to make both our parks and our state a better place,” said Gov. Gregoire. “A tireless advocate and innovator for our parks and a beloved community volunteer, his loss will be felt.”

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