Ohio man sentenced for 2020 DUI crash killing Montana resident in Spokane Valley

A man from Ohio, aged 26, has been given a prison sentence of 6½ years for a fatal DUI crash in Spokane Valley that resulted in the death of 36-year-old Matthew Mischenko nearly four years ago. Josiah Stoke, who was 22 years old at the time of the accident that occurred on June 29, 2020, admitted to vehicular homicide on Tuesday. Consequently, Judge Timothy Fennessy of Spokane County Superior Court handed down a sentence of 6½ years, which is at the lower end of the standard sentence range, with the upper end being 8½ years.

According to court records, Stoke was driving a 1998 Volkswagen Jetta sedan on Trent Avenue at approximately 7:40 p.m. when he hit the driver’s side of a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck driven by Mischenko. Mischenko, a resident of Troy, Montana, had entered Trent from a parking lot on the northern side of the road. As he was preparing to enter the eastbound lanes from the center turning lane, Stoke braked and slid into the center turn lane, hitting Mischenko near Butler Road.

A witness stated that Stoke was driving at a high speed when he hit the truck, causing it to rotate slightly before coming to rest on the eastbound shoulder. The impact likely caused Mischenko to immediately lose consciousness, ejecting him from the vehicle where he was hit again by his truck’s rear differential, as per the Washington State Patrol court documents. Mischenko later succumbed to his injuries.

Stoke was transported to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for treatment. A WSP officer noted a severe smell of alcohol on Stoke before he was transported. Stoke admitted to hospital staff that he had consumed alcohol. Blood tests showed Stoke had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.17, more than double the legal limit of 0.08. THC was also discovered in his blood. Stoke, who had a previous DUI in Ohio but no felony record, was ordered by Judge Fennessy to serve 18 months of community custody upon his release from prison.

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