Statement from Acting Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar:
Very early Monday morning, search crews confirmed that they found the missing vehicle and our employee about 150 feet north of the bridge. While this news sadly confirms our tragedy, the unknown is now known and we can move forward with a plan to recover our coworker.
The vehicle is submerged in over 344 feet of water and recovery operations will be as deliberate as the search was. We are relying on experts from Global Diving and Salvage, a Seattle-based company, to guide this effort. Today will be spent creating a recovery plan. The timing of the actual recovery will depend on what equipment needs to be mobilized to the site and marine conditions. We of course must still work around the tides and currents, which can make the process frustratingly slow.
Once the vehicle and our employee are recovered, the Washington State Patrol will once again take the lead on the investigation. We are continuing to honor the family’s request to not release the employee’s name until positive identification and formal family notification can take place. Rest assured, however, that we are in frequent contact with the family and they are aware of our progress.
For those wishing to help, the best way is to contribute to the WSDOT Memorial Foundation. The Foundation provides WSDOT a mechanism to tangibly help extended WSDOT families manage the financial consequences of the loss of a loved one.
We appreciate everyone’s thoughts during this difficult time.