Two women were rescued from one perilous situation only to succumb to tragedy. Amy Stiner and Melissa Moyer were found dead after their car drove off the road and into the ocean Tuesday night, July 23.
The two victims had been rescued the same night after getting lost in the rain and fog while hiking in Maine's Roque Bluffs State Park. Here is what you need to know about this tragic story.
1. The Lost Hikers Had Been Rescued Minutes Before the Accident
At approximately 9 p.m., Amy Sinter and Melissa Moyer became lost near the Roque Bluffs State Park hiking trails. Search crews were dispatched to find them. A firefighter and member of the Sunrise Search and Rescue volunteered to drive his ATV around to help find the lost women. The off-duty firefighter found the lost hikers and their dog and gave them rides to a residence near the shore where Maine Warden Service picked them up and transported them back to their vehicles.
Afterwards, Smith said authorities surmised the women were “cold, scared and wet and went the wrong way.”
2. They Drove Into the Water and Called 911 Before Drowning
After being escorted to their car, the women then accidentally drove their vehicle into Pond Cove via a boat ramp. The victims called 911 immediately.
“They called 911 again and said they were in the water, the car was filled with water and then the phone went dead,” Sheriff Donnie Smith said.
Officials say the GPS coordinates from the phone placed them almost a mile from where they were last seen. Multiple crews searched for the women and their vehicle — eventually finding them underwater, 175 feet off of the boat ramp and 20 feet below water. Their bodies were huddled in the back seat of the car.
The sheriff speculates that the power windows and locks may have ceased working after getting wet.
3. It Was a Rainy, Foggy Night
Visibility was low on the night of the accident, and warning signs and signals were barely visible. Sheriff Smith said the boat launch could easily be mistaken for the road.
4. One of the Hikers Was Pregnant
Another tragic detail emerged when it was revealed that victim Amy Stiner — who was driving at the time of the accident — was five months pregnant. Their dog also was found dead in the back seat of the car.
Sheriff Donnie Smith said Stiner and Moyer had known each other in Pennsylvania and that Stiner had moved to Machias a year ago.
5. This Has Happened Before
This is not the first time someone drove right into the water in the same spot. According to Sheriff Donnie Smith, "We've had this happen before out there...in fact one of my deputy's did it one time, one night, its just very very easy to do." Better lighting and signs are expected to be erected following this tragedy.