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Body of man who drove off Blaine pier found on B.C. shore

A vehicle drove off a pier into Drayton Harbor Sunday, April 27, 2014, after striking a young boy. No one surfaced after the vehicle went into the water; a seven-year-old boy suffered a leg injury.
A vehicle drove off a pier into Drayton Harbor Sunday, April 27, 2014, after striking a young boy. No one surfaced after the vehicle went into the water; a seven-year-old boy suffered a leg injury. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

BLAINE - Divers have found the truck that drove off a pier into Drayton Harbor Sunday night, April 27, and the body of the man believed to be driving was found washed ashore in British Columbia, according to the Blaine Police Department.

A father and two boys were on the dock at the end of Marine Drive at about 7:15 p.m. Sunday when a vehicle broke through a gate that was blocking part of the road to the pier, North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Chief Ron Anderson said.

The vehicle sped through the gate and struck one of the boys before plummeting off the pier.

The 7-year-old boy suffered serious injuries to both his legs and was taken to St. Joseph hospital, where he remained Monday, said Lisa Moeller, public information officer for Blaine Police Department.

No one surfaced after the vehicle went into the water, Anderson said. Divers with the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office searched the harbor, which is about 60 feet deep off the end of the pier, until midnight before calling off the search for the night. A Coast Guard rescue helicopter from Port Angeles also assisted with the search Sunday.

Divers resumed their search Monday morning. About 11:30 a.m., divers found the truck about 100 feet northwest of the end of the pier, Moeller said. No one was inside. The windows were intact, but the driver's window was partially open. The driver's seat belt was not latched.

Shortly after that, the RCMP notified Blaine police that a man's body had been found about 9 a.m. on the beach at Peace Arch Provincial Park, just across the border in Canada.

In his clothes they found identification that matched that of the truck's owner. The man's name has not been released pending notification of his family.

Police believe the driver was the only person in the vehicle.

Witnesses told Blaine Police the man drove straight off the end of the pier. It also appeared that the vehicle sped up after it broke through the barricades.

"It appears this was intentional," Moeller said.

The incident was not the first time someone has driven off the Blaine pier. In 2006, a man threatening to commit suicide ran from police and drove his car off the pier into the Drayton Harbor channel. His body was recovered by a Whatcom County Sheriff's search and rescue dive team the next day.

Arrangements are being made to salvage the truck.

ACCIDENT AT BLAINE PIER



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