VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WJZ) — Crews have suspended their search for a driver after a truck crashed off a bridge and into the Chesapeake Bay in southern Virginia on Tuesday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
“We would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of this individual during this time of tragedy,” Captain Samson Stevens, Commander of Coast Guard Sector Virginia, said. “We would like to thank the local first responder agencies for their partnership and dedication in coordinating efforts and searching throughout the day with our crews.”
The crash happened around 8:30 a.m. on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel connecting the Virginia Beach area to the Delmarva Peninsula.
Officials said the truck was heading north on the bridge before the second island when it went into the water.
The Virginia Beach Fire Department described the truck as a 20-foot box truck, while the Coast Guard called it a tractor-trailer.
VBFD, VBPD, VBEMS, US Coast Guard, and the CBB Tunnel Authority are searching for the driver of a 20ft Box Truck that went into the water off of the CBBT this morning just before 8:30a. pic.twitter.com/ASRYvkaPv3
— VBFD (@VirginiaBeachFD) December 29, 2020
Witnesses reportedly saw a man get out of the truck and drift toward the west, the agency said.
Coast Guard crews searched approximately 178 square miles with multiple crews and assets from Coast Guard Station Cape Charles, the Coast Guard Cutter Hawk and Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
Boat and shore crews from the Maritime Incident Response Team, Virginia Marine Resources Commission, Virginia Beach Fire Department and Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Police also participated in the search.
There is no current impact to the waterways from debris or pollution at this time, the U.S. Coast Guard said.