VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A truck driver was hospitalized in stable condition after his 20-foot tractor-trailer plunged into the Chesapeake Bay.
— KXAN News (@KXAN_News) January 6, 2016
— Matt McKinney (@Mmckinne17) January 6, 2016
Authorities say the accident occurred Wednesday when the driver tried to pass a slower vehicle on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. The driver’s name was not immediately released.
Bridge-tunnel spokesman Tom Anderson told The Virginian-Pilot (bit.ly/1Jv5w7E) that the driver is lucky to be alive. Officials say seven trucks and three cars went over the side of the bridge-tunnel from 1964 through 2011, and only one person in those crashes survived.
After the tractor-trailer went into the bay, the driver was found floating with a piece of debris in 49-degree water. A bridge-tunnel worker tossed the driver a life ring, and he held on for about 40 minutes until rescue crews could reach him.