Statement from Acting Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar:
Earlier this morning, our coworker and his vehicle were recovered from the Hood Canal. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone involved in this difficult, emotional undertaking. Our attention will now turn to supporting our coworker's family and supporting the Hood Canal Bridge crew as they return to their normal duties.
The Washington State Patrol will publicly release our coworker's name once the family has been notified of a positive identification. It may be some time before we learn what caused this tragic event, and indeed we may never know. What I do know, and what I am extremely proud of, is the compassion, courage and respect with which WSDOT employees have responded to this accident.
Those who knew our coworker will remember him as a champion for safety. He will be remembered for his willingness to respond to any need at the bridge, to help other employees with tasks, and to be fully involved in his job. We will find a way to move forward from this tragedy, as we have no other choice. However, we will hold his memory close to our hearts and minds, as we do with all our fallen coworkers.
Our coworker's family asked me to share this message:
"These last 10 days have been the hardest days our collective family has had to face. We are united in extending our gratitude to the search crews who have worked so many long hours to recover our loved one, and to the WSDOT Hood Canal Bridge crew and management for their kindness and compassion throughout this ordeal. We know our loved one's name will become public soon. We appreciate the media's patience to date, and even after his name is known, we will continue to ask media to respect our family's privacy by not contacting us and instead using this statement as our response. As we move forward to put our loved one to rest and begin the healing process, we thank all those who have extended thoughts, prayers and condolences."
Thank you all for your kindness and support during this time.