Women pulled from submerged car in RI identified

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — The three victims who were pulled from a car hours after it plunged off a pier and landed on its roof in Newport Harbor were identified Saturday as a Rhode Island woman and two women from Europe, police said.

Part of the Hyundai Accent was sticking out of about 4 feet of water when it was discovered around 6:30 a.m. Friday at the Newport Shipyard, a privately owned marina near several of the tourist city's largest hotels and vacation condo complexes, Newport police Capt. Fred Gonsalves said. A fuel deliveryman saw the car and alerted authorities, Gonsalves said.

The driver apparently missed a right turn, police Lt. William Fitzgerald said. A dense fog advisory was in effect in Newport that morning.

He identified the women as Jennifer Way of Saunderstown, R.I.; Louise Owen of the United Kingdom and Femmetje Staring of the Netherlands, all 39.

Fitzgerald said he did not immediately have information on the hometowns of the British and Dutch victims.

The car went into the water near an area called the Travelift pit, the place in the marina where boats are lifted in and out of the water. Among the services the shipyard provides are dockage for luxury yachts and sailboats, as well as services for their owners, such as showers and workout facilities.

Fitzgerald said the car had been in the water for at least several hours. Newport Fire Department Deputy Chief Frank Young said firefighters wearing wetsuits and goggles discovered the women inside the car in the shallow water.

The shipyard is open 24 hours, and a security guard is posted at the entrance at all times.

A spokeswoman for the shipyard referred all questions to police. Fitzgerald said there was no evidence of foul play and the investigation was continuing.

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Niedowski reported from Providence, R.I. Associated Press writer Rodrique Ngowi in Boston contributed to this report.

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