This came out of whidbey times. It is a true tragedy to the community.
Coupeville education leader killed in crash
By Jessie Stensland
Jan 24 2007
A woman who worked tirelessly as an advocate for Coupeville schools was killed in an alcohol-related accident in Freeland Monday night, the Washington State Patrol reported.
Karen Gervais, a 47-year-old mother of two, died at the scene of the collision.
“The island has lost a true friend to public education,” Coupeville School District Superintendent Bill Myhr said.
Detective Jeff Rhue with the State Patrol said another driver, 35-year-old Randi Shelton of Coupeville, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of vehicular homicide and DUI before she was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment.
Shelton was listed in serious condition at Harborview Tuesday.
The State Patrol reported that Shelton was driving southbound in a 2004 Dodge Durango on Highway 525, one mile north of Freeland, when she crossed the centerline and sideswiped a 1989 Dodge van driven by 50-year-old Dale Studeman of Puyallup. Studeman was not injured.
Shelton’s vehicle continued southbound and crossed the centerline again. This time Shelton struck Gervais’ 2005 Toyota van head-on, Rhue said.
Rhue said investigators have reason to believe Shelton had been drinking, though he doesn’t have toxicology results yet. He said police had received a report of a drunk driver in the area just before the accident.
Gervais lived in Greenbank with her husband, John Boon, and their two children. Their son is an eighth grader and their daughter is a third grader, both in the South Whidbey School District. Boon is a captain at the Navy Hospital in Oak Harbor.
Before moving to Greenbank over a year ago, Gervais was a well-known and very involved parent in the Coupeville School District.
Myhr said Gervais was part of the team that put together the initial plans for the new high school, then served on the successful bond campaign.
Gervais also worked with high school journalism students to publish a newspaper after the paper had languished for a number of years.
Myhr said Gervais moved her family to Greenbank so that her children could be involved in performing arts programs in South Whidbey schools. Even so, she continued serving on the Education Foundation for Coupeville Schools.
“She was a true believer in public schools,” Myhr said.