Staff Report – The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for a man who entered the water when his tractor-trailer crashed over the side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel earlier today, according to a Coast Guard bulletin released at 7:17 p.m.
Erik Mezick, 47, of Fruitland, Md., was driving a Cloverland dairy truck across the CBBT at approximately 8:20 a.m. when his vehicle crashed through the southbound side of the bridge.
The search for Mezick began after the Coast Guard and local authorities received a 911 notification of the accident around 8:30 a.m.
The search covered about 178 square miles and involved multiple Coast Guard crews from Cape Charles, the Coast Guard Cutter Hawk, and the Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.
Boat and shore crews from the Maritime Incident Response Team, Virginia Resources Commission, Virginia Beach Fire Department, and Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Police also assisted the search.
“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.”
A diving team will attempt to recover the truck Wednesday, Dec. 30, after marine conditions improve.