GEORGE TOWN: The missing driver of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that plunged into the sea following a collision with another car on the Penang Bridge is believed to be Moey Yun Peng, a 20-year-old college student from Taman Kempas, Butterworth.
The victim's father lodged a missing person report at 4.59pm Sunday (Jan 20) after he was told that his son's car had been involved in an accident along the bridge.
Central Seberang Prai OCPD Asst Comm Nik Ros Azhan Nik Abdul Hamid said they had recorded statements from five people, including two of Moey's friends.
He said investigations revealed that Moey had just attended a birthday party on Penang island and could have been on his way home when the incident happened.
"Another witness also shared dashcam footage recording of the incident with us," he said.
It was earlier reported that the SUV was hit by a black car being driven at high-speed when the accident occurred at sometime early Sunday, and Prai Fire and Rescue chief Azlan Hassan said they were alerted about the mishap at 2.35am.
The impact flipped the SUV as it went over the guard rail and plunged into the sea.
The 20-second dashcam footage showed the black car weaving into the slow lane from the fast lane at high speed.
The driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the white SUV on the fast lane.
ACP Nik Ros said a badly-damaged black car was found at the scene.
He added that the driver, aged 21, was sent to the hospital for treatment.
He said they were investigating the incident for reckless and dangerous driving under Section 42(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987.
He added that once the SUV is located, Penang Bridge authorities would be called in to pull the car out of the sea.
Meanwhile, Marine Police Region 1 commander Asst Comm Rosman Ismail said search operations were called off at 7pm Sunday (Jan 20), adding that it would resume at 7am on Monday (Jan 21).
It is learnt that rescuers dropped anchors and dragged it along the seabed to detect the wreckage.
A fireman at the scene said the water depth was estimated to be about 20m.
In a statement, the Fire and Rescue Department said two of its boats, two vessels from the Marine Police and one from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) assisted in the search operation.
Prai Fire and Rescue Department chief Azlan Hassan said rescuers from his department and the marine police were conducting search operations within a 15m radius.
"The difficulty is that we are experiencing strong currents," he said on Sunday (Jan 20).