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Oak Harbor sailor jumps from Deception Pass Bridge, body recovered

Several boats passed underneath the Deception Pass bridge in response to a report that someone had jumped from the structure Tuesday. The body was recovered and identified as Gary Matthew Wood. - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
Several boats passed underneath the Deception Pass bridge in response to a report that someone had jumped from the structure Tuesday. The body was recovered and identified as Gary Matthew Wood.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

The 32-year-old Oak Harbor man who jumped from the Deception Pass bridge Tuesday has been identified by the Island County Coroner's office as Gary Matthew Wood, an active duty sailor with the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station.

Wood's body was recovered near Pass Island under the south span of Deception Pass bridge shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday by the Deception Pass Park boat.

"It's being investigated as a suicide," said Island County Coroner Robert Bishop.

Police found evidence in Wood's car, parked in the lot near the bridge, that indicates Wood intentionally leapt from the bridge.

The family has be notified, Bishop said.

There were apparently no eyewitnesses; however, at least four people, including three adults and one youth, reported hearing the body make contact with the water around 12:30 p.m.

The sound was described as a loud crack, "similar to a gun shot."

The Deception Pass Park boat, a Marine Services vessel and a private boat of divers took part in the recovery. The park boat, manned by Deception Pass Park Ranger Jack Hartt and park maintenance and construction employee Mark Lunz, found the man's body and transported it to Cornet Bay.

This incident marks the fourth suicide at the Deception Pass bridge this year.

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