The Coast Guard, Virginia Marine Resource Commission, local police, and fire departments searched throughout the morning and into the evening, for a person in the water after their tractor trailer crashed off the side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on Tuesday. The Coast Guard suspended the search last evening and are expected to reconvene this morning.
Watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Virginia Command Center received a relayed 911 notification at approximately 8:30 a.m., regarding a tractor trailer that crashed through the southbound side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and went into the water.
The driver of the tractor trailer has been identified as Erik Mezick of Fruitland, Maryland. Mezick was operating a Cloverland Green Spring Dairy Truck at the time of the crash.
Witnesses reported seeing a man exit the tractor trailer and drift west. Sector Virginia watch standers issued an urgent marine information broadcast for mariners to keep a lookout for the man.
“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 following is a list of units that are assisting with the search:
- A 45-foot Response Boat-medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Cape Charles
- The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hawk
- An MH-60 Jawyhawk helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.
- Boatcrews from Virginia Marine Resource Commission
- Shore crews from local police and fire departments
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, N.C.
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.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the man are asked to call the Sector Virginia command center at (757) 483-8567.