AVON, N.C. (WNCT) — Officials are investigating after the body of a male was found Friday morning on a Cape Hatteras National Seashore beach.
Officials said a resident reported finding the body between the villages of Salvo and Avon. Officials with the National Park Service law enforcement rangers, Dare County Sherriff’s Office, Dare County Emergency Medical Services and Chicamacomico Banks Fire Department responded to the 911 call.
Officials said the body appeared to have been in the ocean for an extended period of time. OBXToday.com reported the body was that of Erik Mezick, a delivery driver whose truck went over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in a crash that happened in December. A post on the Finding Erik Mezick Facebook page from the family also said it was Mezick.
The Facebook post read, “Erik has been found in North Carolina! We have just been notified! We will be back with more information as we get it! We said he would present himself when he was ready and in true Eric style he did just that today on his favorite beach! We love you all!”
WAVY.com spoke with the family, who confirmed the discovery.
“He was a great guy, always nice to people, always smiling,” said Mike Malone, a friend of Erik Mezick. “He would help you anytime if you needed help. Just a great person, and if there was a person that could still be alive and make it out alive it is Erik. He is a fighter and he would swim to the end of the earth to be back with his family.”
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel police are still investigating the crash, but it appears the crash was likely due to the wind that day. Another truck driver who was just behind Mezick that day said he and Mezick shouldn’t have been allowed to make the trek across the 17.6-mile bridge-tunnel system.
“The wind took control of me and blew me, I was so nervous. I couldn’t look at the water, I was looking straight ahead,” said Derek Amos. “I’m going through nightmares at night because God spared me it could have been me, but I think the only reason I didn’t blow in the water is because I had weight on my truck,” Amos said.
The remains were transferred to the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office.