Searching the bay for Erik Mezick, News 3 combs local waters with family in hopes of closure

Posted at 2:29 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 11:34:24-05

CAPE CHARLES, Va. - On an overcast, brisk, Thursday morning, day nine of the search for Erik Mezick, the box truck driver who crashed into the CBBT on December 29, begins.

"Been on the water every day," said Kevin Mezick, Erik Mezick's younger brother.

After a two-hour drive from Salisbury, Maryland, Kevin boards his boat, "Erik Thomas," a vessel he just named after his brother.

"Most of the time, we will stay out here about nine hours a day," he said.

On Thursday, he allowed News 3 to ride along.

Kevin is steadfast and focused on recovering his brother's body.

"We have been concentrating a lot over by Fisherman's Island, the tip of the Eastern Shore," he tells us.

There is not a soul or even a boat in site as we traversed the massive Chesapeake Bay, at some points glassy, other times confronting currents and crisp, white caps.

"Sometimes you have to put a date as a cutoff, but I know right now I am not stopping anything," said Kevin.

Driving a dairy box truck, Erik plunged over the northern stretch of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel last Tuesday morning, the guard rail still wide open, where he plummeted down 13.6 feet into the frigid waters.

He had been on a delivery to Virginia Beach, a 180-mile trip he made dozens of times, every Tuesday and Thursday. Witnesses reported seeing Mezick exit the tractor trailer and drift west in the water, according to officials.

The extensive search for Mezick was eventually called off by the Coast Guard and other first responders.

Scanning the water for Erik is arduous. Kevin's search area is expansive and only three miles of a 200-mile long estuary.

"I need to stop for a minute so I can use my binoculars and focus," he says as the engine stopped.

Kevin told us CBBT cameras captured Erik at the toll booths Tuesday around 8 a.m. He was buckled into his seat belt.

"He was wearing a pale blue and white uniform," he says. "But this is like a needle in a haystack, how big this water is."

Every bird, piece of driftwood or rusted crab pot catches his eye.

"I see something black there - do you see it?"

He and his friend riding along get a closer look, at times even utilizing our cameras to zoom in for clarity.

"What is that there? It's rounded at the top," he looks curiously.

Signs of Erik were not surfacing on the bay Thursday, but this week, parts of his truck were found near Fort Story.

The family is also offering a $10,000 reward for the recovering of his body.

"This is my brother, I mean, I have to do this," he said.

Erik's brother said he won't stop until he brings his brother, a dedicated husband and father of two, home.

The reward is sponsored by friends and family, and if you have information, you can contact the family spokesperson Doug Marshall at 1-443-614-4340‬.