Trucker Who Plunged Off Of Bridge Into North Carolina River Still Missing
UPDATE (Monday, December 10 at 12:00 p.m.) – Rescue crews have now continued their search for the driver of a box truck that plunged into the Neuse River early Sunday morning. Officials have confirmed the driver was driving a U.S. Postal Services truck and they have identified who the truck belonged to. However, authorities have not released his name.
Additionally, officials have confirmed the box truck has been recovered from the river and discovered to be empty. Investigators found the windshield of the truck “smashed out” and suspect that is likely how the driver exited the vehicle.
Their search and rescue operation is continuing.
Lenoir County, North Carolina – Emergency rescue teams had to suspend their search for a missing truck driver on Sunday night after the truck driver plunged into the Neuse River on Highway 70 in Lenoir County near Skinner’s Bypass.
Roger Dail, Director of Lenoir County Emergency Services announced at 5:10 p.m. on Sunday night that search and rescue teams were suspending their efforts due to worsening weather conditions.
Authorities said on Sunday that they received a call at approximately 4:15 a.m. notifying them that a box truck had spun out of control striking a guardrail on a bridge along Highway 70 before plummeting into the Neuse River. Search and rescue teams from Beaufort, North and South Lenoir, Hugo, the Sydney dive team, D.O.T., Duke Energy, Lenoir County Emergency Services and the Lenoir County Sheriffs Office were dispatched to the scene.
The truck was found submerged in the river with only about 20 feet of it sticking out of the water. However, officials have not yet been able to find the truck driver. Trooper Scott Hemby says the conditions have made the search and rescue efforts extremely difficult.
“Well right now it is very cold and raining. It’s not ideal conditions,” Hemby said. “Visibility in the water is near zero at this time and it is still unclear who owns the truck.”
It is not clear to investigators what led to the truck driver losing control of the rig, but Trooper Hemby said, “The road is extremely wet, whether or not that played a role in it, we don’t know at this point.” Search and rescue teams are expected to continue their search Monday morning.
The driver’s identity has not yet been released. This is a developing story and we will bring you any updates when we have them.
Image courtesy of witn.com.