Semi driver survives plunge into bay in Virginia

The scene where a semi-truck crashed into the Chesapeake Bay. (Courtesy WAVY - Jan. 6, 2016)

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY/WOOD) — A semi-truck drove off a bridge in Virginia on Wednesday and plunged into the Chesapeake Bay, leaving the driver with serious injuries.

WAVY, WOOD TV8’s Hampton Roads, Va. sister station, reports the semi went off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel shortly after 3 p.m. A WAVY meteorologist said the water temperature at the time was 49.1 degrees.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel said the truck driver was pulled out of the water by Virginia Beach Marine Patrol at 3:55 p.m. Firefighters say the driver was conscious and alert when he was rescued. He was airlifted a Norfolk hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries to his head, arm and chest.

>>Photos: Semi-truck crashes into Chesapeake Bay

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Commander Krystyn Pecora said a rescue crew out of Cape Charles assisted with the situation. She also confirmed to WAVY that the truck was carrying soybeans and that the driver was the only person on board.

The trailer is owned by NYK Line, the largest marine transporter in Japan. As of Wednesday morning, the company listed it as scheduled to leave Norfolk late next week aboard a container ship bound for Singapore.

There was a similar crash at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in the summer of 2014, in which the driver of the tractor-trailer died.

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