A pregnant Maine woman and her friend visiting from Pennsylvania got lost hiking and were rescued but died later that evening, authorities said, when they accidentally drove their car into the ocean in the nighttime fog.
Amy Stiner, 37, of Machias, and Melissa Moyer, 38, of Sunbury, Pa., presumably drowned when Stiner drove her car down a boat ramp at the end of a dead-end road at about 9 p.m. Tuesday in this town of 300 people in eastern Maine, said Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith, who called the deaths a tragic accident made worse because Stiner was five months pregnant.
"They called on the phone that they were in the water and the car was filling up. Then the phone went dead," Smith said. "An hour later, the deputies found the car."
Earlier in the evening, the women hiked in Roque Bluffs State Park but got lost and called for help. A landowner found them and their dog and gave them rides on his ATV back to his house, where a warden picked them up and brought them to their vehicle, which was parked at the park.
But Stiner then drove toward the boat ramp instead of the other direction to Machias, Smith said.
Authorities found the submerged car about 175 feet off the boat ramp, the women and the dog inside with the doors closed and the windows up.
Weather could have contributed to the accident, Smith said.
"It appears they went the wrong direction and drove off the ramp," he said. "If you don't know the area, in the fog and rain it wouldn't be a difficult thing to do."