A truck driver died on his way to the hospital in a rescue helicopter after his tractor-trailer crashed through a guardrail on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and plunged into the water.
The victim, who has not yet been identified pending notification of next of kin, was traveling southbound at the 15-mile marker when his truck went over the side and into the water near the Eastern Shore side of the tunnel, according to Tom Anderson, CBBT’s deputy director of finance and operations.
Anderson said the crash occurred at around 12:30 p.m. Eastern time, and the driver was initially reported to be alive. He said state, Coast Guard, and Naval rescue crews mobilized to attempt a rescue, with a Navy helicopter arriving first on the scene and pulled the driver off the truck.
All travel lanes on the CBBT were closed for approximately two hours but have since reopened. Anderson said a temporary lane restriction at the site of the crash will reduce travel to one lane, likely into the overnight hours, to allow workers to repair guardrail and curb damage caused by the incident.
Anderson said the cause of the crash remains under investigation. The CBBT was under a Level 1 wind advisory at the time of the crash, with winds between 40 to 47 mph, but Anderson said a Level 1 advisory does not include any travel restrictions for tractor-trailers.
This is the first fatal crash involving a vehicle going overboard on the CBBT in 2017. Approximately 11,000 total vehicles travel on the roadway daily.
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