Body found off west side of Whidbey

A family that was fishing Sunday found the body of a man who jumped from Deception Pass Bridge.

The body of a man who jumped from Deception Pass Bridge was found by a family that went fishing off Whidbey Island on Sunday evening, according to the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

Detective Ed Wallace explained that the sheriff’s office received a 911 report at about 2 a.m. on Thursday of a truck parked in the middle of the bridge. A deputy arrived to find the pickup was running and had its lights on, but nobody was around.

Deputies searched the surrounding areas but weren’t able to locate the driver, who was later identified as a 51-year-old Kirkland man. Investigators spoke to his wife, who said he had talked about suicide previously, according to Wallace.

Deputies felt it was likely that the man had jumped from the bridge. Each year, a few people end their lives at the scenic bridge connecting Whidbey and Fidalgo islands, according to the detective.

At about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, a family that was out fishing on a boat spotted something floating in the water off Lagoon Point in Central Whidbey and discovered the man’s body, Wallace explained. The family brought the body to shore and notified police.

Investigators surmise that the outgoing tide and tidal currents floated the body to Lagoon Point, which is more than 30 miles south of Deception Pass. The sheriff’s office reported that foul play is not suspected.

A Whidbey Island woman paid for an emergency phone that calls 911 on the west side of the bridge. It was installed in 2018 and can be used to alert rescuers of a crisis.

Anyone experiencing thoughts of suicide can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.