NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A man was charged with reckless driving along with two other charges after Virginia State Police said he fell asleep while driving on Interstate 664 and drove into the water at the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel Tuesday morning.
The driver was taken to the hospital in serious condition, police say.
35-year-old Nicholas Ryan Adams, of Virginia Beach, was not only charged with reckless driving, but he was also charged with failure to maintain proper control of the vehicle and driving while his license is revoked, according to Virginia State Police. Further charges, it said, are pending.
A trooper found a 2017 GMC four-door Terrain overturned just before 6 a.m. on northbound I-664 on the Suffolk side of the bridge-tunnel. State Police said investigations indicated that Adams was traveling north on I-664 when he drifted into the center median and continued driving into the water between the north and south lanes of the MMMBT.
State Police said that upon driving into the water, the vehicle overturned on its roof, and Adams suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.
The Suffolk Fire Department said firefighters and medics initiated a technical rescue due to the steep, rocky embankment and were able to get the driver out of the water and onto one of the department’s fire boats.
The driver was already out of the vehicle at the time, and two bystanders who stopped to assist were also in the water, firefighters say.
State Police said their initial investigation found the driver fell asleep at the wheel. The fire department and State Police were also assisted by the Newport News Fire Department, the Coast Guard, Virginia Marine Resource Commission, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia Port Authority and Virginia Department of Transportation.
Vehicles were allowed through after about a 20-minute closure, before police closed off northbound lanes. The roadway has since reopened.