Man dies after car drives off ferry dock

Associated Press and KING 5 News  11:37 p.m. PDT October 3, 2014

SOUTHWORTH, Wash. – The Southworth Ferry Terminal re-opened just after 11 p.m. on Friday, after a man drove off the ferry dock and into the water. Washington State Patrol says he did not survive.

It happened just after six p.m.

Witnesses told investigators that they saw a late model SUV coming down the loading dock at a fairly high rate of speed for a ferry terminal. They estimated his speed at about 35 miles per hour and say the car bypassed the ticket booths, drove through a barricade arm, and then went straight out off the ramp and into the water.

Divers with the Seattle Fire Department found the driver unconscious inside the car, about 60 feet below the surface. He was rushed to the hospital, but didn’t make it.

It took crews about five hours to pull the SUV from the water. During that time, the ferry terminal was closed and people traveling to Vashon Island or Seattle had to take alternate, longer routes to their destinations.

“I live up by Queen Anne,” said Sven Oyd. “My friend is going to have to take me up to Bremerton, I think 11:40 p.m. is the next ferry out. It’s going to be awhile. I cant believe someone died here, that’s just horrible.”

Trooper Russ Winger said Friday evening that it’s not yet known if the man drove off the dock on purpose or if it was an accident or a mechanical failure inside the car. He said the investigation will eventually provide those answers.

Witnesses told authorities it seemed like the man was driving “with intent” as he went through the barricade arm and toward the water.