When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have High Winds and Cold Water

The poor truck driver was leaving Maryland, where guns are as outlawed as extreme anti-gun Governor Martin O’Malley could make them, so outlawed that Beretta moved out. He was southbound, enroute to Virginia, when a 40-knot gust slammed his rig into the guardrail.

And through it.

He had almost enough miracles. He survived the 100-foot plunge into the roiling, storm-tossed waves. He survived the egress from his damaged cab; the soaking in 45ºF salt water; the climb to the roof of his sinking tractor.

He survived the wait for rescue, but all the time, his core temperature was dropping, and his life was fading. When a Navy helicopter crew on a routine mission improvised a daring rescue, they took aboard a dying man.

The man was spotted atop the vehicle’s cab at about 12:35 p.m. and was recovered by a Navy helicopter. He died while en route to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, WVEC.com reports.

The four lane, 23-mile span was experiencing winds in excess of 47 mph around the time of the accident, the facility said on Twitter.

The accident occurred in the southbound lanes of the Eastern Shore side at mile marker 15, WVEC.com reports.

A Navy spokesman confirmed to The Virginian-Pilot that a Navy crew based in Norfolk was on a routine training flight when they spotted the wreck and later rescued the driver, who has yet to be identified.

The water temperature at the time was just 45.5 degrees, according to the newspaper, citing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data buoys.

via Driver dies after tractor-trailer blows off bridge | New York Post.

Second report: Driver dies after tractor-trailer goes off Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel | Daily Press

These are the hearbreaking ones, where saving the guy’s life was that close.

Anything can kill a person, even an ordinary day on the job.

14 thoughts on “When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have High Winds and Cold Water


    Well, hard things have happened to me and I’m not a religious man, but from the other side of the world a prayer from this heathen for that poor working man, and a very heartfelt salute to the birdies who gave it their best shot when trying to save him.

    I regularly check out the work of John Correia at Active Self Defense via Greg Ellifritzt’s blog. One thing John regularly advises viewers about is the importance of Being Right with self, family, colleagues and God, because you never know when your time will come. It’s advice I’ve taken to heart.

    1. Alan Ward

      +1 I found out that a close friend passed away early Saturday morning in his sleep.
      No man knows the hour or the day…..

  2. John Distai

    Kudos to the Navy crew, the timing of their appearance, and their willingness to investigate and help. Although the guy died, there is some [ emotion I can’t describe ] knowing that he was found and being cared for as he passed.

  3. Cap'n Mike

    If the wind was strong enough to blow the truck off the bridge, imagine what it was like for the guys in the chopper trying to save him.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Rotorcraft actually handle winds and gusts pretty well. The rotor behaves kind of like a highly wing-loaded wing so copters (heli and gyro alike) can fly in winds that would ground fixed-wings of similar weight. The thing that makes it hairy is the motion of the truck their survivor was on.

      Especially considering that they were not a deliberate rescue flight but a training flight repurposed ad hoc, those Navy guys were studs. (Even if some of them were girls). It’s a crying shame their daring and skill was not rewarded with a saved life, but thanks for trying from a fellow human being.

  4. Hayabusa

    In our TCCC courses, we learned that, according to recent research, if a trauma victim subsequently develops hypothermia, the chance of death is virtually 100%.

    RIP to the truck driver. He fought a good fight.

    1. Ti

      I was taught in EMT school (’86) that you aren’t dead ’till your WARM and dead. Mammalian diving reflex et all and cold water exposure. So if I pulled you out of there and you had any vital signs you’re getting the full treatment from me till the doctor says no more. Certainly trauma from a plunge would be a multiplying factor in survival.


  5. James

    That is a sad story but am grateful the copter crew repurposed and did their best,faith in humanity grows a bit and puts one trivial issues to bed quickly.

    RIP trucker dude,may the sun be at your back and whatever gives you joy in abundance.

  6. Blackshoe

    Wow, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. I’ve driven a ship through there more times than I’ve driven over it.

    Prayers for the family of the guy who died.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Wonder if it was a ship doing just that, that provided the rescue chopper? Probably not. The Navy’s always doing something around the mouth of the bay.

      1. Blackshoe

        Wouldn’t expect that, but it’s not possible. CBBT is on a long-but very narrow-leg on the transit. From memory, it’s almost 12 miles long, but only about 250 yards wide. No room to maneuver to get winds adequately across the flight deck. Plus, unless you’ve got the bird already out on deck, launching a small boat is usually quicker.

  7. Docduracoat

    You are not dead until you are warm and dead is correct
    That goes double for children
    Keep on doing CPR, ACLS and warming even when it seems futile
    They can survive incredible injuries when cold and make a complete recovery

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