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Ferry captain no longer with VDOT after woman’s car falls into water

The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry re-opened early Thursday morning after a woman’s car plunged into the water on Wednesday night. On Friday, VDOT confirmed that the ferry captain, Jack Goolsby, no longer works for the company.

Goolsby was suspended on Thursday and his employment was terminated later in the afternoon. It is still unknown whether Goolsby was terminated by VDOT or whether he quit voluntarily.

The Coast Guard tells NewsChannel 3 the vehicle fell into the water as the ferry was pulling away with 19-year-old Emma Fretts, of Courtland, inside of it. They say Fretts was able to swim out and she was rescued right away. She was checked out by the local EMS and did not appear to have any injuries, officials say.

VDOT confirms that the Coast Guard is handling the investigation. They say preliminary results reveal that the ferry did not malfunction.

The investigation by the Coast Guard will probe the cause of the accident; whether there is evidence that failure of material or equipment is involved; whether there is evidence of misconduct, inattention to duty, negligence or willful violation of the law on the part of any licensed or certificated person contributed to the incident; and whether the incident should be further investigated.

VDOT is also launching an internal investigation. They are now looking at loading and unloading procedures and safety protocols. 

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