Sunday, October 28, 2007

Runaway Boat Flies Off Bridge; One Injured

Local News: Tuesday, July 08, 1997

South Sound Briefly

Runaway Boat Flies Off Bridge; One Injured

TACOMA - A runaway 19-foot boat on a trailer plowed into two lanes of traffic, collided with four vehicles and flew over the side of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in a freak accident that, miraculously, injured only one person.

The 39-year-old Gig Harbor man, whose name was not released, suffered back injuries and cuts. He was released from Tacoma General Hospital hours after the incident Saturday morning.

"It's kind of strange to see a boat come flying through the air at you," said Dennis Level, 49, who was in his vehicle with his two children during the incident.

A pickup driven by a 24-year-old Puyallup man was towing the boat across the bridge when the trailer came loose from its hitch.

With the boat sitting on it, the trailer barreled into oncoming lanes of the bridge traffic and hit two cars in succession.

Next, the boat apparently became dislodged from the trailer and went up and over a sport-utility vehicle.

The trailer then hit Level's car, but the boat missed. It sailed over one other car before landing on the shore hundreds of feet below the bridge.

Tow crews linked together three 150-foot-long cables to raise the remains of the boat, which took 5 1/2 hours.

Copyright (c) 1997 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved

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