Reader wonders about payment for bridge accident search

The in basket: Michael J. Feely wonders about the expense of the search for and recovery of the state bridge worker who evidently drove through a chain on the Hood Canal Bridge’s lower level and went into the water. His car and body were later recovered.

“Who pays for the recovery efforts?” he asked. “I know an unmanned sonar was used and a recovery team that recovered the vehicle and the victim’s body was used. Is that something the highway department pays for, the person’s vehicle insurance company or does the family have to pay for it?

“If the family has to pay for it, is there somewhere people can donate to help the family?”

The out basket: Claudia Bingham-Baker, spokeswoman for the Olympic Region of state highways, replies, “Our WSDOT Hood Canal Bridge employee was on the bridge, and in WSDOT’s employ, at the time of the accident. WSDOT is responsible for the recovery of our coworker and his vehicle.

“We’re touched that your reader asked if he could contribute funds to the family. One avenue we can offer is the WSDOT Memorial Foundation, which is a non-profit organization designed to provide assistance to WSDOT employees and their families in times of need (http://www.wsdotmf.org/) .

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