New Report Reveals Trucker Was DUI When He And Passenger Drown In Chesapeake Bay Tunnel Bridge Crash
Virginia Beach, Virginia – A new report released on Wednesday by Norfolk’s chief medical examiner reveals the truck driver who lost his life earlier this year in a terrible accident on the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel Bridge was under the influence of alcohol and multiple drugs at the time of the crash.
Jervone Hall, 33, of Delaware, was driving a semi for Delaware-based Rennie Hunt Trucking on July 27, 2018, when he rear-ended a minivan on the bridge-tunnel around milepost 12. The minivan spun and struck the guardrail as Hall’s semi continued forward striking the guardrail and then going over the barrier and plunging into the Chesapeake.
Christopher Fenner, 29, also of Delaware, was a front-seat passenger in the truck with Hall. Both men died from drowning, police said. Fenner’s body was recovered shortly after the crash inside the truck’s cab while rescue crews were not able to recover Hall’s body until 2 days after the accident.
Under The Influence
Officials recovered a black zippered pouch in Hall’s shorts containing syringes, a broken glass pipe, a straw, green foil packaging, a cigarette lighter and a capsule with white powder, among other items. Cocaine residue was also found on one of the vials.
The autopsy and toxicology reports released Wednesday indicate Hall had seven drugs in his system at the time of the accident: amphetamine, methamphetamine, cocaine, ethanol, ephedrine/pseudoephedrine, benzoylecgonine, which is a product of metabolized cocaine, and THC, the active ingredient of cannabis.
In addition to the drugs, Hall also had a blood alcohol content of .062. The legal limit for a driver of a commercial vehicle in Virginia is .04. The toxicology report also details the amount of meth in his system and reveals it was roughly five to six times the amount considered drugged driving in the commonwealth.
Other Factors Involved
Police also released a 2+ page report detailing other factors that played a role in the accident. According to police, it was raining heavily at the time of the crash which greatly diminished visibility of both Hall and the driver of the minivan.
Additionally, the minivan driver told police that moments before they were struck from behind by Hall’s semi, another truck passed to the left of the van throwing water onto the minivan’s windshield further adding to the lack of visibility.
Police concluded Hall was following too closely. However, they have not been able to pinpoint how fast Hall was going at the time of the accident. Estimates are believed to be between 35-55 mph, so it is undetermined whether speed also played a role.
We should also note, no one in the minivan was seriously injured from the crash.
Chesapeake Bay Tunnel Bridge Has A History Of Semi Crashes
The Virginian-Pilot reports that the bridge-tunnel has seen 14 over the side crashes since 1984 and 11 of those involved semi-trucks. You may recall last year when truck driver Joseph Chen went over the side of the bridge in a semi and perished.
Featured image courtesy of Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot.