Woman Dies After Driving off Ferry Dock in Anacortes

Photo by: Chris Nelson

ANACORTES – A 30-year-old woman was killed after driving her Jeep Cherokee through a crossing bar, off the ferry dock of the Anacortes ferry terminal, and into the water. The woman’s body was later recovered after the vehicle was pulled from the water. The woman has been identified as Nicole Barney of Everett, WA.

Trooper Heather Axtman of the Washington State Patrol said that the preliminary investigation found that the driver apparently arrived at the ferry terminal on January 25, 2018 at about 7:50AM,  paid the ferry fare, and then drove into the vehicle staging area and parked. The driver later made a u-turn and went back to the ticket booth, and then made another u-turn and parked back at the staging area. At about 9:35AM, the vehicle left the staging area again, and (by witness report) traveled at a high rate of speed toward the end of the dock.

Photo by: Eddie Murdock

Once the vehicle left the dock, it fell into the water and landed on its roof. The divers that later found the vehicle reported that the water temperature was 48 degrees. The vehicle was then recovered and impounded by Budget Towing.

The Anacortes Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Coast Guard, Skagit County Sheriff’s Office, and the US Border Patrol dive team all responded to the scene to assist.

Photo by: Chris Nelson

All ferry service to and from the terminal was suspended for several hours after the incident. There was no ferry at the terminal at the time of the incident, however a ferry had left the terminal about 10 minutes prior to the vehicle entering the water.

The driver’s next of kin has been notified. Per the Washington State Patrol press release, it is unknown if drugs or alcohol were a factor.

It is not known whether the incident was intentional or a medical emergency. While there has been no official determination, it has been assumed that this was possibly an intentional act.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 160 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices. Their phone number is 1-800-273-8255.

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