Funeral held for Blaine school employee after fatal car crash


A memorial and funeral service for Vladimir Taranenko was held on the morning of May 1 for the Maple Falls husband and father of five who died in a single-vehicle accident on April 23. He worked for Blaine school district as a custodian.

On the night of April 23, around 7:30 p.m. Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputies responded to a missing person report after both Vladimir and his father, Alexander Taranenko, didn’t arrive at work, WCSO spokesperson Deb Slater wrote in a statement to The Northern Light.

A five-person search and rescue team, including a WCSO detective, was dispatched to search for the Taranenkos, and ultimately discovered the location of the car crash through cellular data tracking.

According to WCSO, the car was discovered stuck down a ravine beside the three-way intersection of Haynie and Delta Line roads in Custer. When deputies arrived to the car, Alexander was found alive in the driver’s seat, and Vladimir was declared deceased in the passenger’s seat.

Fire personnel arrived on scene and the driver was taken to a hospital in Seattle for treatment.

An investigation into the single-vehicle crash is ongoing, Slater said.

An online fundraiser has been set up to cover funeral costs and support the Taranenko family. As of publication on May 1, the fundraiser has garnered 328 individual donations totaling more than $42,000 dollars. To donate, visit

Lilya Bromet, who is listed as the fundraiser organizer, wrote on the GoFundMe that the funds will go toward funeral costs and to help cover cost of living.

“Vlad was an incredible father, husband, friend, brother and son,” the post read. “He was always a hard worker for his family but also helped out anyone around him. We could always count on him.” 


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