HOOD CANAL — The body of a Washington State Department of Transportation employee and his vehicle were recovered from the Hood Canal the morning of May 26.
The man and a red Toyota pickup truck apparently went through a cable fence at the Hood Canal Bridge lower deck parking lot and into the water around 5 p.m. May 16. The truck came to rest 340 feet down.
The cause of the incident was not known, according to WSDOT.
“Those who knew our coworker will remember him as a champion for safety,” said Roger Millar with WSDOT. “He will be remembered for his willingness to respond to any need at the bridge, to help other employees with tasks, and to be fully involved in his job … we will hold his memory close to our hearts and minds, as we do with all our fallen coworkers.
“It may be some time before we learn what caused this tragic event, and indeed we may never know,” he said.
The Washington State Patrol will publicly release the worker’s name once the family has been notified of a positive identification.
A family member of the man wrote, “These last 10 days have been the hardest days our collective family has had to face. We are united in extending our gratitude to the search crews who have worked so many long hours to recover our loved one, and to the WSDOT Hood Canal Bridge crew and management for their kindness and compassion throughout this ordeal. We know our loved one’s name will become public soon. We appreciate the media’s patience to date, and even after his name is known, we will continue to ask media to respect our family’s privacy by not contacting us and instead using this statement as our response. As we move forward to put our loved one to rest and begin the healing process, we thank all those who have extended thoughts, prayers and condolences.”
Possible location on lower Hood Canal Bridge deck where vehicle went into water. (Photos courtesy Washington State Patrol)
Crew from Global Diving and Salvage prepares to lift vehicle from waters of Hood Canal early this morning.
Special thanks to divers from Underwater Search and Rescue Volunteers of Kitsap County for their assistance.