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CAPECHARLES -- Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel Police Chief Edward A. Spencer has determined that 'driver inattentiveness' caused a May crash that sent a semi-truck over the guardrail of the bridge-tunnel and into the Chesapeake Bay, killing the driver.

Spencer said the investigation ruled out other possible causes.

No medical issues were found in the autopsy of driver Daawuud Z. Hakim, 45, of Chesapeake, Spencer said. The cause of death was determined to be drowning.

'There were no marks in the roadway until after contact with the other vehicle,' said Spencer, adding, 'The investigation found no defects with the trucks brakes.'

The crash occurred on May 15 around 10 a.m. near the 15-mile marker of northbound lanes, which is just before the high-rise North Channel bridge.

The vehicle went over the side after it ran up on two bridge-tunnel maintenance trucks working a traveling lane closure to protect maintenance workers performing crack sealing work on the bridge deck, said Bridge-Tunnel Executive Director Jeff Holland.

The semi-truck hit the rear maintenance truck, tried to avoid another, jackknifed and went over the rail in the passing lane, Holland said.

It hit the water between the two bridges, and then floated under the southbound trestle and into the Chesapeake Bay.

Hakim's remains were recovered after after being trapped in the truck for two days, following severe weather and rough seas that had forced divers to abort recovery efforts.

'There were no marks in the roadway until after contact with the other vehicle,' said Spencer, adding, 'The investigation found no defects with the trucks brakes.'

Hakim was an independent driver contracted to Big Daddy Drayage, and was hauling a load of tomato stakes bound for the Eastern Shore.

cmorrison2@dmg.gannett. com

757-787-1200, ext. 112

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