One fatality was reported and four others were transported to local hospitals after a vehicle careened off Fjord Drive and into Liberty Bay Saturday morning.
A young couple was trapped upside down in their submerged vehicle when emergency crews responded to the collision that occurred at 8:35, Saturday morning. Poulsbo Fire Department and Poulsbo Police were called to the scene of the vehicle in the water off Fjord Drive, south of the Poulsbo Yacht Club.
Poulsbo Police Chief Dan Schoonmaker said that the female passenger was able to escape the vehicle while the male driver needed assistance from firefighters and law enforcement. In a statement issued Monday, Schoonmaker confirmed that the driver of the vehicle, 19-year-old Shane C. Larson of Poulsbo, had succumbed to his injuries following the crash.
Three firefighters who braved the frigid waters to rescue the pair were also taken to Harrison Hospital in Bremerton and treated for hypothermia along with the 20-year-old female passenger, who was later released.
The first arriving medic unit was on the scene within four minutes. The fire engine headed to the port to retrieve a rescue boat, while the medic unit headed directly to the collision. Crews from North Kitsap Fire and Rescue, and from Bainbridge Island Fire Department also responded, as well as the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and Poulsbo Police Department. The tide was in, and the vehicle was almost completely submerged into Liberty Bay, with just the two rear tires exposed. Responding firefighters had to swim out to the vehicle in order to attempt to rescue the occupants.
According to Schoonmaker, the crash remains under investigation, although speed does appear to be a contributing factor.