Ferry staff could have stopped deaths from DUI crash, lawsuit alleges

Nov 21, 2022, 8:44 AM | Updated: 9:09 am
(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

The families of two people killed by an alleged drunk driver on Whidbey Island have filed a lawsuit in Snohomish County Superior Court against Washington State Ferries, saying ferry crew members could have prevented their deaths.

According to the Everett Herald, the lawsuit filed by the families of Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle alleges crew members knew a woman had rear-ended another car on a ferry and that other ferry riders were concerned she may be intoxicated.

Gamble and Weikle were killed Dec. 18, 2021, when an intoxicated driver, Danielle Cruz, hit them with her car after leaving the Clinton ferry dock, according to a report from the Washington State Patrol.

Multiple witnesses report seeing Cruz swerving and even rear-ending a car in the holding lanes on the ferry, which prompted them to report the incident to ferry staff.

The crew requested help from the state patrol, but when a trooper was not available, the families say they should’ve called local police.

After driving off the ferry, police say the woman crossed a center line, hit another car, and killed the 77-year-old woman and the 78-year-old man.

When asked for a comment, WSF declined, saying they do not comment on pending litigation.

Cruz was charged last month with two counts of vehicular homicide and is set to appear in court Monday.

Sam Campbell contributed to this report.


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Ferry staff could have stopped deaths from DUI crash, lawsuit alleges