South Side friends of a newlywed couple killed in a traffic accident during the holidays are mourning their loss. Jeffrey L. Doke, 28, and his wife, Karen Johnson Doke, 26, who recently moved to North Bend, Wash., started their careers on the South Side of Spokane.
The Dokes died Dec. 23 in a two-car accident on a snow-covered highway near Genesee, Idaho, while on their way to visit family members in Pullman.
Jeffrey Doke, a graduate of Washington State University, taught junior high school classes last year at Liberty Junior High School near Spangle.
“He was well liked and a popular teacher,” said Principal Lori Johnson. “It’s kind of a rough thing for us. He’s really missed in our community.”
Doke left Liberty to take a junior high teaching job in Auburn, Wash. His parents are from Mercer Island.
Karen Doke was the daughter of WSU Associate Professor Glenn A. Johnson, public address announcer for Washington State University football and basketball games, and Kathryn Johnson. She had degrees from the University of Oregon and Spokane’s Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education. She had volunteered in the cardiac rehabilitation unit at The Heart Institute.
“We were all devastated to hear what happened,” said Joyce Kratz Klatt, at The Heart Institute.
Karen Doke recently was working as a cardiac specialist at a hospital in Kirkland, Wash.
The couple died at the scene of the collision on U.S. Highway 95 five miles south of Genesee.
The Idaho State Police reported that the Dokes were northbound when their 1983 Honda Accord, driven by Jeffrey, slid into the southbound lane and collided with a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by a 42-year-old Moscow, Idaho, man, who was unable to avoid the Doke vehicle. The front of the Land Cruiser struck the passenger door of the Doke vehicle.
State police said falling snow had reduced visibility, and there was so much snow and ice on the highway that lane markings could not be seen.