CHESAPEAKE -- Crews pulled a heavily damaged tractor trailer from Chesapeake Bay Sunday morning, 3 days after it and its driver, 45-year-old Daawuud Hakim of Chesapeake crashed through the guardrail of The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
Bob Crofton of Crofton Industries, which handled the recovery, said workers pulled the big rig from the water Sunday morning and 'secured' it on a barge.
Saturday, divers recovered Hakim's body from the wreckage.
'He was a hero. He was my hero,' said Chris Cooper Saturday night as he talked about his friend, Daawuud Hakim.
Hakim was driving his tractor trailer across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Thursday when he hit a construction vehicle stopped as part of rolling bridge-tunnel repairs.
After impact, Hakim swerved to keep from hitting workers. His rig jackknifed, smashing through the guard rail, taking bits of concrete with it as it dropped into the Chesapeake Bay.
'Death is a hard process, and we have to work through,' said Morenike Tyehimba, whose sister, Franchetta Ajibola, was Hakim's longtime fiancee.
Tyehimba was with Ajibola Saturday when she identified Hakim's body.
'She was hoping that maybe it wasn't him down there, you know, in the water,' Tyehimba told 13News Now. 'This way, she can at least, 'Okay, this is where I have to go. This is the next step.''
Tyehimba added, 'He was a very compassionate loving person, he cared about people he took our family in as his own and we took him in as our own, you know, just a good person.'
At this point, police still are looking into what led to the crash that happened at about 10 a.m. Thursday near Mile Marker 15 of the bridge-tunnel's northbound lanes.
CBBT Executive Director Jeff Holland said after the tractor trailer went through the guardrail, it hit the water between the two bridges. The worker whose maintenance vehicle was hit was not hurt. Maintenance workers performing work on the bridge deck also were uninjured.
Crews were able to clean up concrete debris, cut out damaged guardrail, and remove a damaged light post. Storms Thursday into Friday hampered further repairs as well as recovery efforts.
'They can't pour concrete in the rain,' said CBBT spokesman Tom Anderson, who expects to have the work accomplished and both lanes restored to travel well before peak Memorial Day traffic.
'I suspect we should have it all done by the end of the weekend,' he said. 'It's just all weather-dependent.'