Sad News In Search For Truck Driver Who Plummeted Into Neuse River In North Carolina
“If it was a pond or a lake or something, they would probably already have found him.” – First Sgt. Mike Baker, North Carolina State Highway Patrol
Kinston, North Carolina – After more than four days of searching for the truck driver who plunged off a bridge on Highway 70 and into the the Neuse River early last Sunday morning, officials are now scaling back their search efforts.
First Sgt. Mike Baker of the State Highway Patrol says the underwater search has been suspended. For the last four days search crews and divers have been using boats equipped with underwater sonar technology to guide them in hopes of finding the driver.
However, river visibility has been described as “zero” and search crews have been frustrated by minor flooding and a rapid current. “If it was a pond or a lake or something, they would probably already have found him,” Baker said.
Baker said though they are scaling back their efforts the search will still continue on. “They’re going to be patrolling the river twice a day in hopes of finding him,” Baker said.
The box truck, which was recovered from the river on Monday, belonged to a contractor for the U.S. Postal Service and was empty when it went into the river, said Keith Acree, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.
Upon finding the truck investigators noticed the windshield had been “smashed out” and suspect it is how the driver exited the truck.
Investigators have also suggested worsening weather conditions from snowstorm Diego may have contributed to this accident.
Officials say that though they have identified who was assigned to this truck, but are not yet releasing his identity.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to follow the story.
Featured image courtesy of NCDOT.