Report Says Dump Truck’s Brakes Caused Fatal Accident

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AKRON, Ohio — A report issued by the Ohio State Highway Patrol says the driver of a dump truck who died last week after his vehicle crashed in the Cuyahoga River was not at fault in the accident.

According to Lt. Rick Edwards of the Akron Police Department, an inspection of the vehicle conducted by Highway Patrol Accident Investigators determined that the dump truck was running on 50 percent brake capacity.

Edwards says because of the limited brake capacity the Ohio State Highway Patrol has ruled the cause of the accident as mechanical, not operator error.

Fox 8 News' Dave Nethers reports that the dump truck was hauling 14 to 15 tons of sand and dirt. According to Edwards the vehicle had, "No chance to stop."

The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the deceased driver as 41-year-old Christopher Burgess, of Ravenna.

Burgess was driving down Portage Trail hill around 11 a.m., on July 5, 2012 when the dump truck lost its brakes, went through a parking lot then traveled into the Cuyahoga River.

Burgess died after the cab of the vehicle became submerged in the water.

Edwards says Burgess stayed in the vehicle as it sped out of control. He honked the horn and waved his arm out of the window, warning people to get out of harm’s way.

According to Edwards Burgess may has saved lives with his actions.