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Truck Plunges Off Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Driver Dies

Image: Truck Plunges Off Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Driver Dies

Vehicles sits on the road by a missing section of guard rail along a segment of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel where a tractor-trailer went over the southbound side at the 15-mile marker, Thursday afternoon Feb. 9, 2017, near Virginia Beach, Va. (Bill Tiernan/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

By    |   Friday, 10 Feb 2017 12:37 PM

A truck plunged off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge after experiencing strong winds, and the driver died.

The tractor-trailer driven by Joseph Chen from Greenville, North Carolina, went off the southbound lanes of the bridge at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, WFMY 2 News reported.

Following the incident, the truck driver was spotted standing on top of the floating truck, the station reported. However, he was found unresponsive once a U.S. Navy helicopter arrived to the scene, and would later die on the way to a hospital in Norfolk.

Thomas Anderson, deputy director of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District, said investigators are working to determine if the heavy winds were the sole cause of the accident, according to the Baltimore Sun.

A Coast Guard helicopter was flying over the bay in response to a different incident when the truck went off the Chesapeake Bridge.

“They apparently saw the accident happen,” said Mike Maus, a spokesman for the Naval Air Force Atlantic, according to the Baltimore Sun. “The search and rescue swimmer went into the water and rescued the driver. And they hoisted him aboard the helicopter and transported him [to the hospital].”

According to the Baltimore Sun, since the bridge opened in 1964, there have been 12 incidents where a driver went off the bridge. Of those 12 situations, only two of those people survived.

The water was 45.5 degrees at the time of the incident, The Virginian-Pilot reported, citing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data. A wind advisory was issued shortly before the incident, with winds exceeding 40 mph.

Chen’s wife, Billie Jo Chen, said she and her husband were on the verge of celebrating 10 years of marriage, with their wedding anniversary approaching in April, WFMY 2 News noted.

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A truck plunged off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge after experiencing strong winds, and the driver died.
truck, plunges, chesapeake bay, bridge
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2017-37-10
Friday, 10 Feb 2017 12:37 PM
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