Local

Body of missing trucker found in the Neuse River near Kinston

A crane pulls the trailer of a tractor-trailer truck from the Neuse River on Monday, Dec. 10. The truck crashed through a guardrail on a bridge over the river near Kinston early the previous morning.
A crane pulls the trailer of a tractor-trailer truck from the Neuse River on Monday, Dec. 10. The truck crashed through a guardrail on a bridge over the river near Kinston early the previous morning. NCDOT

The body of a truck driver missing since his rig went over the side of a bridge into the Neuse River near Kinston last month was found over the weekend, about two miles downriver.

Two duck hunters came across the body of Richard White Jr. near the King Street boat launch area at about 11 a.m. Saturday, said Sgt. Scott Hemby of the State Highway Patrol. Hemby said the medical examiner ruled White’s death a drowning.

“We don’t know if he was thrown from the vehicle or he tried to get out,” Hemby said in an interview. “But he did end up in the river and subsequently drowned.”

White, who lived in Elizabethtown, was driving an empty mail truck westbound on U.S. 70/258 when the truck crashed through the concrete railing along the left lane and fell between the twin spans that carry the road across the Neuse River.

The accident occurred before dawn on Dec. 9. Divers found the truck’s cab later that day, but the windshield was smashed out and White was not inside.

The Neuse had been experiencing minor flooding, and divers scoured the swift, murky water for three more days. The search continued by boat after that, but White was not found until Saturday.

Richard Stradling covers transportation for The News & Observer. Planes, trains and automobiles, plus ferries, bicycles, scooters and just plain walking. Also, #census2020. He’s been a reporter or editor for 32 years, including the last 19 at The N&O. 919-829-4739, rstradling@newsobserver.com.


  Comments