FOUND: Body Of Trucker Who Drove Off North Carolina Bridge Is Found, Driver Identified
Kinston, North Carolina – After an extensive search, the body of the truck driver who drove his truck off of a bridge along Highway 70 and into the Neuese River on December 9, 2018, has now been recovered.
On Saturday, Lenoir County Emergency Services said a body was found near the King Street boat landing. Though the medical examiner has yet to officially confirm the identity of the body, the family of the deceased driver has confirmed the victim is 30-year-old Richard White Jr. from Elizabethtown.
White’s family confirmed the news in a statement. “My brother was a kind, humble and loving person. We are so glad that he has been found and now our family has closure,” Tonya White said to WCTI.
White went missing in the early morning hours of December 9, 2018, when he drove his truck into the Neuese River on Highway 70 in Lenoir County near Skinner’s Bypass. Emergency rescue crews were dispatched shortly after 4 a.m. in an effort to save the drivers life.
The truck was quickly found and recovered, but there was no sign of White. Officials revealed the windshield of the truck had been “smashed” out, presumably by White in an effort to escape.
Intense search efforts for the driver ensued, but the aftermath of Hurricane Florence made weather conditions very difficult and officials said water visibility for divers was “zero.”
Earlier this month TNN updated the search for White as recovery teams vowed they would not give up until they found White’s body. Director for Lenoir County Emergency Management, Jerri King, praised volunteer firefighters who were still signing up for every other day patrols of the river.
Equipped with radar, drones and poles to remove debris, firefighters continued searching the Neuese River until they found White on Saturday. King said she hoped finding White would bring his family the “closure” they needed.