Recently, a contract painter was working on a lower portion of the Manns Harbor Bridge when he fell into the Croatan Sound located along the Outer Banks in eastern North Carolina. The details that surround this construction accident are not clear, but the news of the missing worker stirred up some of the locals in this normally quiet coastal region. Another man jumped in the sound to save his co-worker at the time of the accident and was later rescued himself as emergency personnel pulled the second worker from the water.

The victim, Sydney Valesco, was doing maintenance work on the Manns Harbor bridge for VHP Enterprises Inc., of Tarpon Springs, FL, which was hired by the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) for the project. This particular bridge carries U.S. Highway 64 Business across the sound to Roanoke Island which lies the town of Manteo, North Carolina.

A rescue boat from the Coast Guard’s Oregon Inlet station and a rescue helicopter from Elizabeth City joined three Dare County boat crews in the search including a dive team from the Dare County Fire Department, but were unsuccessful in finding the worker. Valesco was discovered by a local fisherman a few days later.  The bridge accident is being investigated by the North Carolina Department of Labor and the Department of Transportation.