Two Women Are Rescued On Hike Only To Die After Driving Off Pier In Maine

article-2376834-1AF98F71000005DC-553_306x423_zpsc9bb3370article-2376834-1AF9844E000005DC-95_306x423_zps7612c67eLast week, there was a bizarre and tragic accident killing Amy Stiner, 37, and Melissa Moyer, 38. The two women were hiking in Maine when they became lost. They were rescued only to get into their car and drive of a boat ramp and drown. Adding to the tragedy, Stiner was four months pregnant. Moyer left behind a 12 year old son.

This type of accident is all too common in rural areas where roads often lead directly to piers or boat ramps. In the dark, it is very difficult to judge water ahead instead of a road. This town of only 300 clearly did not have barriers to prevent this type of accident. The problem is that locals often need to tow boats to the water’s edge and smaller towns have limited funds to add lights and other devices.

What is particularly difficult in these cases in torts is that on their face there is often negligence in failing to mark such dangers sufficiently in the dark. However, locals generally know of the danger and with only 300 people accidents are likely low. It remains strangers that are most at risk in such accidents.

The result is that there can be tort liability against the town or county. Yet, local juries tend to treat such dangers as common to rural areas. Maine particularly is known for such localized notions of fault. In one infamous case, a jury ruled in favor of a hunter who shot a woman in her garden in Bangor, Maine. She was viewed as reckless for going out during deer season wearing white mittens and a dark coat, here.

These pier cases are less controversial. They present a common conflict over foreseeable risks in rural areas. These piers are part of the terrain and lifestyle of Maine residents. Indeed, people come to that beautiful state for these small towns and waterways. Yet, the high number of tourists also means that many will not be experienced with such dangers. You can see with the picture below how short the road is before you fall into the ocean. It is an overt danger . . . unless it is foggy.

In this case, Stiner was from Maine. However, the conditions were foggy that night. The women were able to call police to say that their car was filling with water, but they were found drowned with their dog by rescuers.


23 thoughts on “Two Women Are Rescued On Hike Only To Die After Driving Off Pier In Maine”

  1. When I learned to drive, in rural northwest Minnesota, as a teenager, during the mid 1950s, there were highly trained and skilled drivers education teachers at the small city high school.

    I was diligently taught, in effect, “Do not overdrive your headlights; it is too easy to get killed if you do that.”

    I learned to drive before post-modern philosophy captured education and, especially, teacher education.

    What greater tragedy hath existence to proffer than believing it or saying it inescapably makes it true? The death of accepting the existence of tangibly objective reality is the prevaricator of entrainment within learned stupidity?

    I have been stopped by police for supposedly impeding traffic because I choose to not overdrive my headlights, and been given warnings to the effect that I need to drive recklessly when visibility is limited because most drivers do that.

  2. One reason we special ordered our current vehicle with manual-only windows! No power-windows for us, for exactly this reason.

  3. I’m not going to criticize the women with 20/20 hindsight from the security of my internet connection, as I’ve never been in their shoes. Imagine suddenly and unexpectedly finding your car in the ocean–it’s cold, dark, wet, and you may be shook up or injured from the impact with the water. The front of the car (where the engine is) starts to sink. It’s likely you can’t open the door because of the water pressure. The windows may not work because of electrical outage and even if they do you may fear letting in a rush of ocean water that would quickly sink the vehicle. I can easily see how disorientation, fear, and panic could quickly set in, especially if you’ve never given any thought to what you would do if faced with that situation.

  4. That is how it is these days. The kid is in the back seat texting to his mom driving up in the front seat.

  5. I agree with DavidM above. Cell phone to hell phone. The itchinBays were probably talkin on the phone to each other when they went off the pier. Pier One stock went down today by the way.

  6. I can’t understand how they had time to telephone authorities to come help them, but not enough time to open a window. I wish people were taught to be self reliant rather than to call authorities to save them. The first thought should always be about how to help yourself, not who can I call to help me.

  7. You know…. I’m very familiar with these types of ramps…. I’ve almost driven into a few myself…. Generally they are posted without lights…. And most of the time shrubbery has grown over the warning…. One that I recall had major rumble strips….

  8. Very sad. Been to Maine 3 times during the summer to visit friends. It was foggy at the beach every time. So foggy you couldn´t see your hand in front of your face. The town had to have been well aware of the danger of not having a barrier.

  9. “…in Canada alone, 10 percent of drowning deaths can be attributed to being submerged in a car,”

    Wow, I would not have expected such a significant percentage of drowning deaths from being submerged in a car. It was enough to motivate me to read the wikihow article. Seatbelt–children–window–out!

  10. Maine is one of our most beautiful States and derives much income from its tourist industry. Unless you are going to post “tourists beware” signs at your borders there is some duty owed to people who use their highways and byways. If there were no signs indicating a pier then I think that their is a cause of action for a torts case. I spend my summers in a rural area of NY State. Even though I’m now familiar with the territory there are still hazards in driving due to poor roads, bad lighting and weather conditions like unexpected fogs. There are time when the experience of 50 years driving has led me to pull to the side of the road because weather conditions were such that I could not see ahead of me. I can easily see that on a rural, poorly lit road, without markers, this could have occurred and mostly it would not be the fault of the driver.

  11. An amazing story of survival followed by death that should never have happened. I would think that any municipality should bear the responsibility of properly marking its roads to prevent this kind of tragedy.

  12. Actually, in southern New England where I grew up the Mainiacs who moved there were considered white trash.

  13. Very sad.

    When in Maine:

    “…in Canada alone, 10 percent of drowning deaths can be attributed to being submerged in a car,[1] and about 400 North Americans die from being submerged in a car every year.[2]

    However, most deaths are a result of panic, not having a plan and not understanding what is happening to the car in the water. By adopting a brace position to survive the impact, acting decisively when the car ends up in the water, and getting out fast, being trapped in a sinking vehicle is survivable, even if it’s a flooded river.” – wikihow article

  14. Justice Holmes,

    Ah but, we live in America and thus must tolerate all sorts of f*cked up local cultures.

  15. Localized notions of fault? Sounds more like localized notions of “who the hell cares”. I love Maine but calling the victim of a hunting accident reckless when she is shot to death In her garden is a new level of the love of guns that I fail to understand. The same with the refusal to put up a barrier at the end of such treacherous roads. Tourists of Maine should be put on notice that traveling in Maine can be hazardous to your health!

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