Officials: Truck plunges off bridge into Chesapeake Bay

The Coast Guard has suspended its search for the driver of a box truck that plunged off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Coast Guard officials said Tuesday evening that they have suspended their search for the driver of a box truck that plunged into the water after crashing on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

The truck crashed about 8:20 a.m. on the east side of the bridge’s northbound lanes, according to Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel officials.

Fire, police, and EMS units arrived to find the vehicle floating in the water, said Virginia Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Richard Trent.

Witnesses saw a man get out of the truck and drift westward in the water, Coast Guard officials said. It was not clear whether the driver climbed or fell out, said Petty Officer First Class Tara Molle.

Coast Guard rescuers joined with the fire department, emergency medical services and police to search for the driver.

According to several media outlets, CBBT officials identified the driver of the truck as Erik Mezick, 47, of Fruitland, Maryland.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is 17.6 miles (28 kilometers) long and runs from Virginia Beach to the Eastern Shore. It features two tunnels that run under the surface of Chesapeake Bay.

¶ About 15 over-the-side crashes have occurred since 1984, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

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