Coast Guard calls off search for person in water following Chesapeake Bay Bridge semitrailer crash

By IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News

(BALTIMORE) — The Coast Guard and local officials called off a daylong search Tuesday night for a man in the water near Virginia Beach following a tractor-trailer accident.

Authorities received a 911 call around 8:30 a.m. of reports that the tractor-trailer crashed through the southbound side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and went into the water, the Coast Guard said.

Witnesses reported seeing a man exit the vehicle and drift west, according to the Coast Guard.

A distribution manager at Cloverland Green Spring Dairy, based in Baltimore, confirmed to Richmond ABC affiliate WRIC Tuesday evening that one of their dairy trucks was involved in the accident. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel authority identified the missing man as Erik Mezick, 47, of Fruitland, Maryland.

“The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the CBBT are with the family and loved ones of Mr. Mezick during this difficult time,” Jeff Holland, executive director of the CBBT, told WRIC.

In addition to two Coast Guard boats and a Coast Guard helicopter, local police and fire departments and Virginia Marine Resource Commission combed the waters to find the missing man.

Crews searched 178 square miles before the search was called off in the evening.

The Coast Guard urged anyone who has any information or saw the man in the water to call the Sector Virginia Command Center at (757) 483-8567.

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