Rescue teams called off their search around 2 a.m. Saturday for a motorcyclist who hit a car on the I-90 floating bridge and fell into Lake Washington. After more than two hours in the water, the motorcyclist was presumed dead.
“There’s not a chance of survival in that water over a certain period of time,” said State Patrol spokesperson Trooper Rick Johnson. At that time, he said, the water would be roughly 50 degrees.
The crash occurred about 11:30 p.m. Friday. The motorcyclist — whether a man or woman is not known — rode east on I-90 through the Mount Baker tunnel “at a high rate of speed,” weaving in and out of traffic, Johnson said. On the floating bridge, the motorcyclist struck a Toyota in the right lane, then hit the barrier and went over into the water.
The impact dislodged the motorcyclist’s helmet and a boot, which were found on the bridge.
Two people were in the Toyota, and they were not hurt, Johnson said.
Seattle police Harbor Patrol and Mercer Island police Marine Patrol sent divers into the lake, and the State Patrol flew a plane with a heat-sensing infrared system over the water. The divers and the plane couldn’t find the body or the motorcycle.
Johnson said authorities are now waiting for someone to call to say a person expected to show up Friday night had not made it. That could help identify the motorcyclist.
While that person is not thought to have survived, “there is not a confirmation until we make a recovery,” Johnson said.