Drowning, hypothermia killed man who drove truck off bridge

AP News
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Posted: Feb 13, 2017 3:44 PM

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Authorities say a tractor-trailer driver who initially survived after plunging off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel last week succumbed to hypothermia and drowned.

Donna Price is district administrator for Virginia's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. She notes that water in the bay was about 45 degrees when Joseph Chen went off the bridge Thursday while driving in high winds.

Authorities said the 47-year-old man from Greenville, North Carolina, was seen standing on the floating truck for some time. But when a Navy helicopter rescued him, he was in the water and unresponsive. He died on the way to the hospital.

Authorities said driver error likely caused the accident. According to bridge official Thomas Anderson, Chen was seen weaving his truck through traffic before it drove off the span's left side.