, Newburyport, MA

February 1, 2011

Driver in fatal Whittier Bridge plunge identified as NH man

The Daily News of Newburyport

Newburyport — The driver of a car that plummeted off the Interstate 95/Whittier Bridge into the Merrimack River in Newburyport Monday night has been identified as Charles Moncousky, 64, of North Hampton, N.H.

Moncousky, who was driving a 2002 Toyota Camry, suffered fatal injuries in the accident. His body was pulled from the frigid river by divers just after midnight Tuesday morning.

State police said the car dropped approximately 100 feet into the river, plunging through 20 feet of water to reach the bottom. State police divers David Mahan, Scott McKenzie and Bob Malloy located the car directly below the point where it went off the bridge, which connects Newburyport to Amesbury.

This morning, state police divers re-entered the river to hook the Toyota to a heavy-duty tow truck and pull it from the river. The car is owned by Total Air Supply Inc., a heating and ventilation company based in Nashua, N.H.

Police say it's unclear what caused Moncousky to drive off the bridge. The victim was turned over to the medical examiner's office. The investigation into the cause of the crash remains ongoing. 

The accident occurred shortly after 8:15 p.m. Monday. Police received several simultaneous calls from motorists who reported seeing Moncousky drive off the northbound side of the bridge.The accident set off a massive search and rescue effort involving local and state police and their dive teams as well as the U.S. Coast Guard.

The investigation is being conducted by Troop A of the Massachusetts State Police with the assistance of the State Police Collision Reconstruction Analysis Section and the State Police Crime Scene Services Section.