Truckers threaten to strike after driver’s death on the CBBT

It was a vigil that soon turned into a call for truckers to strike.

Most of the truckers at the vigil knew Daawuud Hakim, who died Thursday when his 18-wheeler fell off of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

“It’s definitely heartbreaking to know we lost one of our own in such a tragic manner,” said George Berry, a truck driver. “We understand the perils that we face day in and day out in this industry. It’s treacherous.”

Hakim’s fiance nodded in agreement as she heard his friends and coworkers talk about how they feel they deserve better treatment on the job.

They plan on striking because six days after Hakim’s death, they feel they haven’t gotten proper answers from Big Daddy Trucking, the company he was doing a job for that day.

Franchetta Ajibola says she never got a call from Big Daddy Trucking with any condolences for losing the love of her life.

His trucker friends want to know more about what went wrong. Police say Hakim’s 18-wheeler hit a work truck on the northern end of the bridge, jackknifed and then went over a guard rail.

For two days, Hakim’s body was still in the truck’s cabin at the bottom of the bay.
The other drivers want to know if the company is at fault in any way, and until they find out, they’re prepared to no longer drive.

18 comments

  • dawnc

    I don’t believe the company was at fault in this unless there was something wrong with the brakes but he never moved over to the other lane to avoid the work trucks. Yes they sound heartless not calling or sending flowers but I doubt they are at fault. Sometimes when something tragic like that we look for someone to blame. You may want to look in to the VOTE situation and see if they used the right protocol in setting up the construction area with adequate warnings. That’s where I would look. ..Sorry for your loss.

  • GeorgeB

    I agree with you Dawnc, however I believe the major issue is more so concerning the lack of communication between the Leased company and the Drivers fiance’. She seemed to be handling her loss well, although she is plagued with the difficult task of burring her partner and the pain-staking task of gathering up documentation. My sincere condolences go out the Family & Friends of Daawuud Hakim. It is so refreshing to see Professional drivers banding together to accomplish resolution..

  • david

    I see on the roads all these truck drivers and other drivers for that matter on cell phones and other devices. Who is to say he wasnt paying attention stop blaming everyone else for someone’s screw up. Now lets see I guess this may turn into a race thing because he is black and was treated unfairly. All in all it was an accident that may have been or may not have been avoided.

  • TS

    Chiming in as a carrier… some of these trucking companies put too much on their drivers. They expect them to drive all day, come back pick up the next load and continue driving with little to no regard to the hours of service rules that should be enforced so that drivers are more alert and can respond correctly when situations occur during travel. If the trucks wheels aren’t turning the company isn’t making money and this affects the drivers. With the ports being backed and causing delays it only puts more pressure on the drivers. There’s so many factors that have to be considered.

  • Brittany

    People who right these comments are so mean. They just want answers on what happen. So maybe they want make the same mistake. I think the company should have reached out to the family, girlfriend and all. That shows what kind of heartless company that you work for. My dad friend got killed over the weekend a couple of years ago on a unrelated work assignment. The whole company was at his funeral.

  • mary

    I went across we’d at 530 and I could not see the water or anything because of fog this was we’d afternoon so what was the weather at the time it happened I thought the bridge would have been closed I have been going across since the ferry never seen it that bad with fog

    • Terry

      Mary, I was probably on the bridge the same time you were. And, I am thankful they didn’t close the bridge tunnel. Do you know how many miles you must drive to get to the Eastern Shore if the CBBT is closed? What you do or what I do, is slow down, take your time, and keep moving. And, what many drivers in the Tidewater Area don’t do, is merge before going to the end of the merge lane. I also agree the fog was pretty bad that day – but we made it home safely.

  • Terry

    First, truckers can only drive so many hours a day and they must log their hours in a log kept inside the truck in order they can be inspected by State Police, etc. I too crossed this bridge several times this week and the signs are up to move over. Keep in mind that the person behind him could not believe he did was not moving over. I don’t know what the driver was doing and unless he was on his cell phone we will never know. He may have been enjoying the scenery. This was a tragic accident caused by the driver and we are lucky no one else was involved. The company should have reached out to his family, but keep in mind providing condolences to his girlfriend could be a shaky situation, because even though she was a fiancé, what if he was really married and living a second life. All too often we want to blame someone else for our own stupid mistake.

  • Mike Muehliesen

    as far as the co being at fault possibly but if the driver has been in the ports sitting all day like ive seen ..then the driver should know whether or not to take that trip across … as far as the trucks brakes i thought i saw skid marks which mean the brakes look like they were working …. ive seen them vdot vehicles pull out into traffic not watching or paying attention to whats comiming… there are all kinds of reasons that they need to look into dont go making accusations ….. you people that dont drive or work for a trucking co keep your mouths shut . talk about something you DO know about….you people havent a clue what we truckers go through every day im a 20 plus yrs truck driver .. i know what we go through

    • Yakker

      Well, I drove and was a lease operator pulling a chemical tank all over this country for first Matlack Chemical Tank Lines then for Quality Carriers. I can attest to the fact that all drivers are to pull a pre-trip inpsection of their rig and are responsible for the truck’s condition before it goes on the road. Can things happen on the road? Yes, they can. I can remember once I had about 6,000 gallons of nitro-methane on board and a brake on the trailer locked up coming down a mountain in PA and caught fire. It was not a pleasant experience. Was it the company’s (I did not own the trailer) fault? No, it wasn’t and it was not my fault either since all worked well when I left the terminal with the trailer. Things happen, but just because they do does not mean it is the company’s fault.

      I do not know if this driver was considered a ‘road’ driver or not (more than 150 mile radius – at least that is what it used to be when I drove), but if he was it is his responsibility to stay within the rules of 10 hrs per day of driving (plus 5 hours working) and 8 hours off.

      I feel for this guy and his family. It was a tragic accident. It may have been caused by mechanical failure, but there was a guy in a small truck behind him who said on the news he could not figure out why the driver was not pulling out of the lane he was in and getting into the correct lane of travel. If mechanical that would indicate steering failure or it could have been one of two other things; health problem or inattention. I fortunately have hundreds of thousands of miles on the road driving a truck with no accidents. I wish all drivers had the same experience. I am no longer in this profession.

  • D

    The CBBT is not owned by VDOT. They hire CBBT workers or private companies for repairs/maintenance

    • dawnc

      Not sure who was in charge of the work just trying to help figure out what could have happened. ..

  • Robert Brown

    First of all, for the information of all of you stating how truckers can’t drive but so many hours and have to keep logs. This is only true for those that drive more than a 100 mile radius of where they are based. If they stay within that distance, there are no rules as to how many hours they can drive and they do not have to keep logs, unless the laws have changed since I left the trucking industry. I may have that radius distance wrong, but there is a certain distance before you have to keep a log or are limited in your hours. For those that drive the longer distances, many companies will require them to illegally keep more than one log book to show the DMV if they are checked. Also, down time does not count against your driving time. So if the driver has to wait for 2 hours to get his load, he still can drive 10 hours before he has to stop. Even there, he is only required to be off duty for 8 hours and then he can go again. It’s a tough life for an over-the-road trucker and it can be tough on the local drivers as well. It’s absolutely possible that this driver dozed off or had “road hypnosis” that caused this accident.

    • Bryan

      Yankee and Robert Brown, before you start stating incorrect facts on hours of service rules, I think that you both need to brush up on them. We can drive up to 11 hours in 14 hours from the time we start our clock. We also have to take a 30 minute break no later than the 8 hour mark and our 14 hour clock can only be stopped by going into the sleeper for a complete 8 hours at one stretch. Also, even if you are within 100 miles you can not work more than 14 hours a day with an exception of being able to do 16 hours once a week.

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