Tractor trailer found partially submerged in river after storm

Multiple agencies are searching for a trucker after finding a tractor trailer partially submerged in a river in North Carolina yesterday morning. The Lenoir County Sheriff’s Department initially responded to a call about debris in the Neuse River in Kinston around 4:15 a.m. on Sunday, December 9. Later in the day, told police that they saw the tractor trailer hit the guardrail on both sides of Highway 70 before crashing through the guardrail into the Neuse River below.

When officers arrived on the scene, they found the truck submerged in the river. A dive team went into the river to look for the truck driver but could not locate him inside the cab. Divers struggled with freezing temperatures and a strong current as they searched for the missing trucker. The search was called off around 5 p.m. on Sunday night as weather conditions worsened.

Police say that they aren’t sure why the truck driver lost control and crashed off of the bridge. North Carolina Trooper Scott Hemby told WITN, “Well right now it is very cold and raining. It’s not ideal conditions. The road is extremely wet, whether or not that played a role in it, we don’t know at this point.” Investigators believe that the trailer is empty. Authorities shut down a two mile stretch of Highway 70 at Skinner’s Bypass in both directions overnight and the highway will remain closed until transportation officials can determine that the bridge is structurally sound. The search for the truck driver resumed at 8 a.m. on Monday, December 10. Agencies helping with the search include the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the Sidney Dive Team, the Lenoir County Emergency Services, and the Lenoir County Sheriffs Office.

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