On February 6, 2013, 5:09 PM, our 911 Center began receiving calls from motorists traveling on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge (southbound) of a vehicle on fire as well as additional reports of this same vehicle taking out a portion of the bridge railing and going over into Lake Pontchartrain.
Shortly thereafter, around 5:15 PM, Causeway Bridge Police requested the assistance of our LASER (Land Air Sea & Emergency Rescue) unit to aid in the rescue and recovery of the occupant(s) and the vehicle. As JPSO Divers entered the water they quickly located the dump truck, however, because of the condition of the vehicle, they were unable to see if anyone was inside of it. Due to the weather conditions worsening, along with poor lighting conditions, all efforts were suspended at that time.
This morning, around 7:00 AM, JPSO LASER Divers with the assistance of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Causeway Police Department resumed search and rescue efforts. As the day progressed, divers were able to peer into the cab of the dump truck, however, they found no one inside. Efforts are underway to remove the vehicle from the water this time. Upon completion of the vehicle removal, rescue members will begin to conduct a search and recovery operation.
We will not be releasing any additional information other than what is contained in this release. Important updates, including any information relative to the driver of the dump truck will be released at a later time.
We will continue to work in conjunction with our law enforcement partners in this endeavor.