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Search resumes for trucker believed missing in frigid Neuse River

December 10, 2018

Divers searched the Neuse River in Kinston for a truck driver whose 18-wheeler was found in the river early Sunday.

A passerby reported debris on the U.S. Highway 70 bridge over the Neuse River at about 4 a.m. Sunday, saying a truck appeared to have struck guardrails on both the right and left sides of the highway, said Sgt. Scott Hemby of the State Highway Patrol.

When fire department first responders and paramedics arrived at the site, they spotted a tractor-trailer in the water, Hemby said. A long stretch of guardrail was missing on the left side of the road where the truck went over.

Five members of the Sidney Dive Team from Beaufort County spent much of the day in the frigid water searching for the truck driver.

“It is brutal,” one of the drive team members said. “The river is high with a strong current.”

The state Department of Transportation put a large boat in the river for engineers to inspect the damaged bridge.

The trailer remained connected to the truck cab, and authorities were trying to pull both out of the water Sunday afternoon.

Hemby said authorities believe the trailer is empty.

Authorities may open one lane of U.S. 70 to traffic overnight, but the other lane will remain closed until the guardrail can be repaired, which won’t happen until after the storm.