A woman died when she drove her Jeep Cherokee at high speed off the end of a ferry loading ramp at the Anacortes state ferry landing. Her body was discovered in her vehicle once it was pulled from the water.
No ferry was docked at the time.
The vehicle drove onto the ferry loading bridge and went through a barrier arm at the end of the ferry dock at about 9:45 a.m., then plummeted into the water of Guemes Channel, according to Trooper Kevin Fortino of the Washington State Patrol.
Divers recovered the car just after 1:30 p.m. and a tow truck pulled the Cherokee from the water a short time later.
The tow truck is recovering the vehicle from the Anacortes Ferry Terminal. pic.twitter.com/wy9yqsEGye— Trooper H. Axtman (@wspd7pio) January 25, 2018
Trooper Heather Axtman told KOMO News a preliminary investigation found that the driver apparently arrived at the ferry terminal at about 7:50 a.m., paid the ferry fare, then drove into the vehicle staging area and parked for quite some time. About two hours later, the driver drove back to the ticket booths, then turned around and parked in the staging area again. A couple of minutes later, she drove toward the ferry loading dock at a high rate of speed, Axtman said.
The Skagit County Sheriff's Office sent a dive team to assist with the recovery of the vehicle and driver. A Border Patrol dive team and the U.S. Coast Guard also responded to the scene.
The emergency at the ferry landing halted all ferry traffic to and from Anacortes for several hours while a search and recovery effort was under way.