VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.- The body of the driver of a box truck that went off the side of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in late December was found Friday morning on the beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, his family has confirmed.
Kevin Mezick, the brother of Erik Mezick, 47, of Fruitland, Md., said in a Facebook post that the family was notified that Erik’s body was found in North Carolina.
Doug Marshall is a close family friend of the Mezick’s. He tells WBOC, he just felt like today was the day Erik would come home. “Ironically, at 9:20 this morning, I had texted Kevin [Erik’s brother] Mezick and said, ‘the water’s getting ready’,” Marshall says, “that was at 9:20 this morning. Kevin calls me at 10:45 and says, ‘Doug, I can’t believe they found him.’ We looked through the news release from down in Carolina and they found him at 9:14. I was in the gym, on the treadmill. I stopped the treadmill at 9:20 to text him because I just felt something was happening.”
Doug Marshall says the location where Erik washed ashore is fitting.
“To find Erik on a beach..Everybody knew Erik was a fantastic swimmer. And he loved Hattereas, from what we’ve been told from the family and to find him on one of his favorite beaches. What? 150 miles from where he went in? Is a sign, as we said months ago, he was going to show himself when he was ready and where he was ready and that he did.”
Erik Mezick’s truck went off the bridge-tunnel at around 8:30 a.m. Dec. 29. The vehicle is owned by Cloverland Greenspring Dairy, a company based in Baltimore.
The U.S. Coast Guard, the Virginia Beach Fire Department and various other responding organizations had coordinated efforts to find Mezick’s body. Witnesses to the crash had said they saw him get out of the truck and drift west in the bay.
On January 15th, a sonar boat from the Charles County Fire Rescue scanned the waters near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to find Erik. Their efforts were fruitless.
The official search for Mezick’s body ended shortly after that, but his family vowed they would not give up the search.
The bridge-tunnel is 17.6 miles long and runs from Virginia Beach to the Eastern Shore. It features two tunnels that run under the surface of the Chesapeake Bay.
This wasn’t the first vehicle to go over the side of the bridge. A tractor-trailer driver died of hypothermia in 2019 after his truck went into the water.
Editor’s note: WBOC and WAVY-TV contributed to this article.