UPDATED: Coast Guard calls off search for driver after truck crashes off Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Witnesses reported seeing the driver get out of the truck and drift west in the water. [Photo courtesy Virginia Beach Fire Department]

The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a driver who crashed his box truck off the side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Tuesday morning near Virginia Beach.

State and local agencies continued searching for the driver of the truck late into the afternoon Tuesday. [Photo courtesy Virginia Beach Fire Department]
Authorities received a 911 call at 8:26 a.m. about the 20-foot truck going off the side of the bridge in the northbound lanes near the second island of the bridge complex. Witnesses reported seeing the truck go into the water and a man exit and drift west, according to the Coast Guard.

In addition to searches through the day by local police and fire departments, the Coast Guard 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, N.C.

“We would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of this individual during this time of tragedy,” said Capt. Samson Stevens, commander of Coast Guard Sector Virginia. “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 17.6-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel opened in 1964 and crosses over and under open waters where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Shortly after it opened, the bridge complex was named one of the seven engineering wonders of the modern world.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at kpugh@jammediallc.com