VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The wife of the driver killed after his box truck plunged off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Tuesday morning is remembering him as a wonderful husband, father and friend.
Erik Mezick left his home in Fruitland, Maryland, around 10 p.m. Monday, according to his wife of 25 years, Megan.
The 47-year-old hopped in his Cloverland Greenspring Dairy box truck, ready to deliver dairy products to Cape Charles and Virginia Beach. It was a 130 mile trip, a job he had only had since March, WTKR reported.
On his way back north, the family's world was turned upside down in seconds.
Mezick was driving northbound around 8:20 a.m., Tuesday, when his truck went over the guard rail on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and plunged into the bay near Mile Marker 14.
The U.S. Coast Guard said witnesses told them Mezick starting drifting westward after climbing or falling out of the cab, into the frigid 45-degree bay.
Virginia Beach Fire, Virginia Beach Police, and Virginia Beach EMS started working together with the US Coast Guard and Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Authority searching for Mezick in the water.
The air and bay search lasted hours for the man who loved scooters, swimming, collectibles and caring for his 94-year-old grandmother.
By dusk, the search was suspended for Mezick after an intense 178-mile scan of the bay by a myriad of authorities.
Mezick is survived by his beloved wife, and two children, 18-year-old Dylan and 16-year-old Hannah.
"I can't say anything more than he was just such an amazing man, father, husband, friend. Anyone who met him loved him from the start, he left an impression on so many,” Mezick's wife, Meghan told WTKR.
CBBT police are still investigating the incident. Crofton Diving out of Portsmouth is working to try to recover the truck Mezick was driving from the bay.
“The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the CBBT are with the family and loved ones of Mr. Mezick during this difficult time,” said Jeff Holland, Executive Director of the CBBT.
"We would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of this individual during this time of tragedy,” said Capt. Samson Stevens, commander of Coast Guard Sector Virginia. “We would like to thank the local first responder agencies for their partnership and dedication in coordinating efforts and searching throughout the day with our crews.”