Search resumes for missing trucker in Neuse River

KINSTON (WITN) - The search for the body of a missing driver whose tractor-trailer ended up in the Neuse River early Sunday morning has resumed.

Crews pulled the wrecked big rig out of the river just outside of Kinston on Monday.

Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail says there are four or five boats searching, including two from Craven County. He said they are using side scan sonar to help locate the body.

A Highway Patrol helicopter is also assisting with the search.

The westbound truck plowed through the bridge's concrete rail barrier sometime before 4:00 a.m. Sunday. A dive team reached the cab of the truck Sunday afternoon but found no body.

U.S. 70 was closed until noon Monday while crews worked to remove the empty 18-wheeler from the river. The DOT has closed one lane of the bridge until the barrier can be repaired.


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A major highway in Eastern Carolina was closed for more than 24 hours after a tractor-trailer ran off a bridge and into the Neuse River.

The Highway Patrol says the big rig was pulled from the river just outside of Kinston around 10:00 a.m. Monday.

The 18-wheeler ran through a bridge rail barrier on the westbound U.S. 70 bridge sometime early Sunday morning.

Dive teams reached the truck's cab on Sunday but no driver was found.

Troopers say the truck is owned by a company out of Fayetteville and they do have an idea who was driving the empty tractor-trailer.

State Wildlife officers will be out on the river today, while boats equipped with sonar are expected to help with the search tomorrow.

Traffic on the busy east-west highway reopened just before noon after an underwater inspection showed there was no structural damage to the bridge.

The DOT says one lane of the bridge will remain closed until Friday while crews work to repair the damaged railing.


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Crews resumed their search at 8 a.m. for the driver of an 18-wheeler that was found submerged in the Neuse River Sunday morning.

Both the East and Westbound lanes of Highway 70 are shut down at Skinners Bypass, near the Fuel Warehouse, for about a mile past the bridge.

State troopers have been monitoring the area overnight and directing traffic.



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A portion of U.S. 70 and 258 will stay closed overnight Sunday after an 18-wheeler ran off the road and into the Neuse River in Kinston.

Crews including the Sidney Dive Team out of Beaufort County will resume searching the water Monday, officials said.

The Lenoir County Sheriff's office originally got a call about debris on the side of U.S. 70 and 258 near Skinner's Bypass around 4 a.m. Sunday.

Officials say that's when deputies found the tractor tailor in the river with only about 20 feet of it sticking out of the water.

Highway Patrol Troopers say the driver of the truck hit a guardrail on one side of the bridge before driving off the road and into the river on the other side.

The dive team was able to locate the cab of the truck, but they did not see the driver inside, according to officials.

Visibility in the water is near zero at this time and it is still unclear who owns the truck, Trooper Scott Hemby said.

"Well right now it is very cold and raining. It's not ideal conditions," Hemby said. "The road is extremely wet, whether or not that played a role in it, we don't know at this point."

Troopers say right now they believe the trailer of the truck was empty but they will have to wait until it is out of the water to make sure.



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A dive team is still searching the Neuse River after an 18-wheeler ran off the side of a bridge early Sunday morning in Kinston.

The Lenoir County Sheriff's office originally got a call about debris on the side of U.S. 70 and 258 near Skinner's Bypass around 4 a.m. Officials say that's when deputies found the tractor tailor in the river with only about 20 feet of it sticking out of the water.

Highway Patrol Troopers say the driver of the truck hit a guardrail on one side of the bridge before driving off the road and into the river on the other side.

The Sidney Dive Team out of Beaufort County was able to locate the cab of the truck, but they did not see the driver inside, according to officials.

Visibility in the water is near zero at this time and it is still unclear who owns the truck, Trooper Scott Hemby said.

"Well right now it is very cold and raining. It's not ideal conditions," Hemby said. "The road is extremely wet, whether or not that played a role in it, we don't know at this point."

Troopers hope to reopen the right westbound lane of U.S. 70 sometime Sunday night. The left guardrail along the westbound side was destroyed in the crash, officials said.

A two-mile stretch of U.S. 70 and 258 will stay closed until crews can pull the truck out of the river and the NCDOT can assess the damage to the bridge support beams, troopers said.



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Highway Patrol has confirmed that the truck submerged in the Neuse River is an 18-wheeler.

A dive team is currently searching for a driver.


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Crews are on the scene of an accident that happened in Kinston Sunday morning.

Hugo Fire Chief Johnny Craft said they are responding to reports claiming that a truck ran off of the road and is in the Neuse River.

Highway Patrol said they can see about 20 feet of a trailer sticking out of the water. It is unclear if anyone is inside of the truck at this time.

Both sides of Highway 258 North, 70 West are closed.

A dive team is being sent to the scene.