Driver ID'ed in fatal plunge into Chesapeake Bay

By Land Line staff | Friday, February 10, 2017

Authorities have released the identity of a trucker who died Thursday after his-tractor trailer crashed through a guardrail on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and plunged into the water.

Joseph Chen, 47, of Greenville, N.C., died during transport in a U.S. Navy rescue helicopter Thursday afternoon, according to a representative from the CBBT. Media reports state that Chen, who worked for Evans Transport in Washington, N.C., was hauling a load of seafood.

The crash occurred at around 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. Chen 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.

All travel lanes on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel were closed for approximately two hours but have since reopened.

Anderson said the cause of the crash remains under investigation. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel 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 bridge-tunnel in 2017. Approximately 11,000 total vehicles travel on the roadway daily.

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