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Va. first responders rescue 2 after SUV crashes into river

Two people were injured when their vehicle went into the James River before a bridge-tunnel


First responders tend to a survivor of the wreck at the entrance to the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel.

City of Suffolk Department of Fire & Rescue/Facebook

By Gavin Stone
The Virginian-Pilot

SUFFOLK, Va. — A driver fell asleep at the wheel just before getting onto the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel and careened into the water between the bridge’s two directions Tuesday morning, police said.

The driver and another passenger were rescued and are alive, though the extent of their injuries is unknown. Their vehicle was discovered on its roof in the shallow water, just beyond a rocky embankment, by a state trooper passing through the area at about 6 a.m.

They were traveling northbound on I-664 preparing to enter the bridge-tunnel from the Suffolk side at the time of the wreck. Images from the scene provided by Virginia State Police indicate that the vehicle broke through a fence before going into the water.

The water was shallow enough in that area that the majority of the vehicle was visible from the road.

Traffic headed northbound on I-664 will be blocked for an unknown amount of time. Crews are in the process of rerouting traffic and opening the shoulder to allow traffic to pass.

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