Search For Missing Trucker Continues, Rescue Team Vows Not To Stop “Until We Find Him”

Kinston, North Carolina – Search and rescue teams are still conducting search operations in an effort to find a truck driver who went missing more than a month ago.

The truck driver 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 the driver. Officials revealed the windshield of the truck had been “smashed” out, presumably by the driver 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.”

 

Still, crews continued to battle the conditions in their search effort. After more than 4 days of underwater search operations, authorities suspended efforts and focused on patrolling the river in boats. Officials began patrolling the river twice per day.

Authorities identified the truck driver and revealed he was driving for a USPS contractor. The box truck was empty when it entered the water according to investigators.

 

Lenoir County volunteer firefighters continue patrolling the Neuse River every other day more than one month after a truck driver went missing. / image courtesy of ABC12

Not Giving Up

Now investigators are once again providing an update on the search progress or lack thereof. Interim Director for Lenoir County Emergency Management, Jerri King, said the Neuse River is still above flood stage since Hurricane Florence and that’s still making the search difficult.

King told ABC12 they will continue their search until the driver is found. “Until we actually find him, we will continue searching because we owe that to the family,” said King. “Right now they need to have that closure of us being able to find him so, until we actually find him, we will not stop looking.”

 

Even though search teams have now scaled back their rescue efforts from every day to every other day, volunteer firefighters are still signing up to aid in the search. Equipped with radar, drones and poles to remove debris, firefighters continue searching the Neuese River in hopes of finding the truck driver.

King called the firefighters “phenomenal” and expressed they “take their jobs very seriously.” King said, “Even though they are volunteers, they are professionals.” So, the search continues on.

Transportation Nation Network will continue to monitor this story.

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