SHINE — At least two people could face charges after a flipped car was found abandoned at the midspan of the Hood Canal Bridge, closing the bridge in both directions for about two hours Sunday night, according to the Washington State Patrol.
The incident remained under investigation late Monday morning.
A passerby called 9-1-1 about at 10:45 p.m. Sunday regarding a 1994 Honda Civic sedan lying on its top at the Hood Canal Bridge’s midspan, the State Patrol said. The person thought she heard splashing, leading law enforcement to believe someone might be in the water.
U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Kip Wadlow said Monday that U.S. Coast Guard Seattle received an aid request from East Jefferson Fire and Rescue shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday for an overturned vehicle.
The Coast Guard responded with a boat from Seattle and a helicopter from Port Angeles to search the area, he said.
East Jefferson Fire and Rescue assessed the scene and found no evidence of the driver having been ejected or going into the water so the Coast Guard was released, Wadlow said.
Even if the person had gone over the edge, there’s a concrete platform underneath and the area also is far away from the water, State Patrol spokesperson Katherine Weatherwax said.
The vehicle was westbound on the bridge when it traveled over the fog line, struck a concrete barrier, overturned and landed on its roof. The vehicle was found unoccupied when law enforcement arrived, the State Patrol said.
“They must have been going fast because they slid rather far,” Weatherwax said. “The driver was wearing her seatbelt, but we’re not sure about the passenger because of the condition of the windshield.
“There was not a lot of blood. They got scared and ran, but we found both their IDs,” she said.
The driver later called in to say that a family friend passed her and clipped the front of her car in the process, causing her to crash, Weatherwax wrote in a Monday email.
“Then her friends picked her up and they drove off,” Weatherwax said.
She added that hit and run or vehicular assault charges may be possible because the driver was “pretty banged up.”
“Now we are looking for this guy that disappeared and drove the couple to their house,” she said.
Weatherwax said the female driver is 18.
“They were coming from a festival. We are going to do follow-up at her house and his house,” she said. “We checked the hospitals. We need to find her.”
Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@sound publishing.com.