Sailor busted for using a duffel bag dummy passenger in carpool lane

·2 min read

Life in the United States Navy, and the military in general, is anchored by the principles of adapting and overcoming.

Day-to-day life in uniform requires improvisational fixes to keep the mission moving, superiors happy and the Defense Department goliath chugging along.

So, what’s a Washington state-based sailor to do when plagued by the incessantly soul-crushing traffic north of Seattle? If you’re this particular Seaman Timmy, you take advantage of the I-5′s carpool lane.

More specifically, you ensure you qualify for said carpool lane by constructing a faux passenger out of a duffel bag, blankets, a USS Momsen ballcap and splashes of a Navy Working Uniform Type III.

And it all goes swimmingly, at least until 5-0 spots your squid dummy and scuttles what could have been a feat of Navy ingenuity.

Props to the Navy's HOV Hero. (Twitter)
Props to the Navy's HOV Hero. (Twitter)

Washington State Trooper Rick Johnson shared a photo of this very circumstance in a tweet Thursday.

The law enforcement officer did not respond to follow-up questions about the incident, but it appears to have taken place south of Everett, where the guided-missile destroyer Momsen is based.

“This HOV violator was contacted by an @wasstatepatrol motorcycle trooper SB I-5 near the King/Snohomish county line,” he wrote. “This ended up being constructed with a duffel bag and a lot of blankets. Apparently no excuse provided. #DuffelsDoNotCount.”

The identity of the clever, busted sailor has not been disclosed, but the photo does appear to show a petty officer 3rd class insignia on this sailor’s chest.

In Washington, a first HOV violation costs $186, but an additional $200 is tacked on “if a doll or dummy is placed in the car,” according to a state website.

Here’s to hoping this sailor isn’t smoked too harshly by his chief. Perhaps the sailor’s command could even concoct a way to properly channel such resourcefulness.

Salute.