Driver says part of HRBT ceiling hit his truck

Posted at 7:03 PM, Feb 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-12 19:03:44-05

A Chesapeake driver on the way home from a Peninsula appointment Tuesday said something tumbled from the tunnel ceiling, striking his truck. His report to VDOT triggered a rush-hour tunnel closure, a ceiling inspection, and an hours-long traffic jam.

VDOT spokeswoman Marshall Herman told NewsChannel 3 today crews did find and fix misaligned metal ceiling panels in the eastbound lanes of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. But she said crews found no evidence that anything fell.

"I heard they are saying something was loose in the ceiling but nothing fell," said Harley White, the driver whose Ford F-250 was damaged. "But something fell and I ran into it as it was coming down."

White showed NewsChannel 3 a foot-long slash marring his new truck's chrome grill, near the right headlight.

Herman said it's possible another car kicked up debris. White said the strike was so violent it shook his sturdy truck. He worried at first it might have pierced the radiator, but he was able to drive home. On Thursday, a repair shop estimated the fix at $800. He said he will file a claim with VDOT.