Two hikers, one of them pregnant, who had just been rescued after getting lost on a Maine mountain died in an apparent drowning Tuesday night when they accidentally drove into the ocean.
A five-months-pregnant Amy Stiner, 37, and friend Melissa Moyer, 38, went hiking at Roque Bluffs State Park earlier in the day Tuesday but got lost in the thick fog. They called the Maine Warden Service for help, which dispatched a firefighter member of the Sunrise Search & Rescue team to find them, according to the Bangor Daily News.
The women were taken to a nearby home and later brought back to their minivan, which was at the state park.
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With Stiner behind the wheel, the rescued hikers, who also had a dog in the car with them, headed toward the main road.
Minutes later, around 9 p.m., officials received a 911 call from Stiner saying that their van was filling up with water. The line crackled and then went dead. According to police, it appears that Stiner became disoriented in the fog and drove right off the Roque Bluffs boat ramp and into the ocean.
"That's what it appears they did. I could just picture it happening in the rain and the fog," Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith told the Daily News. "I'm sure they hit the water before they hit the brakes."
The women's bodies, along with the dog's, were discovered in the backseat of the van, Smith said, speculating that they were pushed backwards as the van tilted forward and sank front-first.
Stiner and her husband were organic farmers and in the midst of a business partnership with Tide Mill Farm in Edmunds Township, Maine.
"They were excited to get experience any way they could," Aaron Bell, owner of Tide Mill Farm, told the Daily News. "This is just a tragedy. Everyone’s in shock right now."
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Moyer, who had been vacationing in Maine, was a teacher at Milton Area High School in Milton, Pa., and worked with alternative placement students there, according to Superintendent Pat Kelley.
"On behalf of the Shikellamy School District I would like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of Melissa," Kelley told The Daily Item
. "It is a sad and tragic situation. Melissa was a dedicated employee, and I have had the pleasure of meeting her and she was a wonderful person."
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