Mount Vernon, WA – The Driver of a vehicle that drove into the Skagit River around 9:46 p.m. on the night of November 20th, 2020 in Mount Vernon has been officially identified by Officials.
According to a press release from Detective Sergeant Mike Don with the Mount Vernon Police Department, the driver has been identified as 15-year old Taylor Nicole Bentley of Mount Vernon.
On 11/20/20 at about 9:46 pm, Skagit Emergency Communications Center (Skagit 9-1-1) received a call from a Mount Vernon girl who said she had driven a car into the Skagit River at the Edgewater boat ramp.
According to Audio Archives obtained by SkagitBreaking.com through a creative commons license from broadcastify.com, the driver called dispatchers herself. (Edited 11/23/2020) Responding Mount Vernon Police Officers responded priority to the scene and confirmed a vehicle was in the river and could see headlights under water.
The initial responding Officers initiated a full rescue response in an attempt to save the teen as dispatchers advised her via cell phone on ways to try to get out of the submerged vehicle until dispatchers lost connection with the caller.
Three boats, two hovercrafts, and a Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV Drone) from the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol as well as Skagit County Fire District 3 responded to the scene and spent several hours searching the area. Due to darkness and hazardous river conditions, the search was suspended at 1:00 a.m.
Multiple search teams with specialized equipment responded back to the scene at daylight including dive teams from the US Border Patrol Sector Special Operations Unit, Whatcom and Kitsap County’s Search and Rescue Unit and a UAV from the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office. After an extensive search of the area, they located the missing vehicle at around 11:30 a.m. about 300 yards down river from the boat launch.
Divers located the deceased teen inside the vehicle and recovered her remains. Due to hazardous river conditions the vehicle remains in the river and there are no immediate plans to recover it due to safety reasons.
The official investigation remains ongoing into the incident. Anyone with information that may assist detectives in this investigation are encouraged to call police dispatch at (360) 428-3211 or Mount Vernon Police Department at (360) 336-6271.
A Go Fund Me Account has been set up to assist the family with expenses. Click Here to be taken to the site.