Police: Wind not a factor in deadly CBBT tractor trailer crash

13News Now Steven Graves has the story

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- As the investigation continues into Thursday's deadly crash on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, officials reconstructing the accident scene believe wind was not a factor.

CBBT Police Chief Edward Spencer said that according to witness accounts, the tractor trailer driven by 47-year-old Joseph Chen rammed a curb as the vehicle was trying to pass another big rig.

Chen's truck went over the guardrail and into the bay below.

Spencer said at the time of the accident, the bridge-tunnel had Level 1 wind restrictions in place, which should not have been a factor in the crash.

Chen, who is from Greenville, North Carolina, died shortly after he was plucked from the frigid water by a U.S. Navy helicopter crew.  

Officials believe the cab of the truck detached from the trailer. On Friday, divers went out in search for the cab to recover the contents of the truck's "black box." The trailer is believed to have drifted away from the truck, and may not be recoverable.

Meanwhile in Greenville, Chen's family is struggling with the news of his death.  Chen's stepson, Chris Moore, said Chen is being remembered as the life of the party, always with a smile on his face.

Chen's wife, Billie Jo Chen, told The Virginian-Pilot she would have celebrated her 10-year anniversary with him in April. She described him as "an awesome husband" who had two children from a previous marriage.

A Go FundMe account has been set up for Chen's family.

Chen drove for Evans Transport LLC, based in Washington, North Carolina. 13News Now looked up the company's record with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The report showed one recent crash in April of 2015. No one was killed or hurt.

The report also shows the feds have cited Evan Transport for several violations related to drivers, including speeding violations, and reports of drivers working beyond specific time limits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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(© 2017 WVEC)


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