Crews have located the body and vehicle of a state transportation worker who is believed to have accidentally driven off the Hood Canal Bridge last week.
Update, May 26, 2016:
The body and pickup of a state transportation employee, who is believed to have accidentally driven off the Hood Canal Bridge last week, have been located, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
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The man’s body was inside the truck, according to Claudia Bingham Baker, WSDOT communication director for the Olympic Peninsula region.
The vehicle was found about 150 feet north of the bridge in 344 feet of water early Monday morning, acting Secretary of Transportation Roger Miller said in a news release.
Bingham Baker said the employee was leaving his shift around 5 p.m. May 16 and was driving on the lower deck of the bridge — which is used for maintenance — when “something happened and he veered off.”
“We have every reason to believe it was an accident,” she said.
The employee has not yet been publicly identified.
WSDOT said experts from Seattle-based Global Diving and Salvage will guide an effort to recover the body and pickup.
“The timing of the actual recovery will depend on what equipment needs to be mobilized to the site and marine conditions,” Miller said in the release. “We of course must still work around the tides and currents, which can make the process frustratingly slow.”
Once the body and vehicle are recovered, the Washington State Patrol will lead the death investigation, WSDOT said.