A tragic accident last Friday resulted in the death of a Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) worker. A motorist-assist operator was hit by an alleged drunk driver while he was working at an accident scene on Interstate 70 around 3:00 am.
The worker was a long time employee of the department, receiving his 15th anniversary plaque just on Monday. “Our hearts are heavy and we are thinking and praying for his family and friends,” said a department spokesperson. He was a father of two and his family remembers him as “a man of service.”
Despite emergency lights, flares and cones being properly set up at the accident scene near the exit for Lee’s Summit Road, a 35-year-old man crashed through the barriers with his Honda Accord. The force of the impact threw the worker several feet into his motorist-assist truck. The vehicle then went up in flames and the worker died at the scene. The interstate was shut down for several hours.
The driver’s blood alcohol level was determined to be over twice the legal limit when he was tested at a hospital following the accident. He was still in the hospital for treatment last Friday. Prosecutors have charged the driver with first-degree involuntary manslaughter. In addition to the criminal charges faced by the driver, the worker’s family may also bring a civil suit for damages.
This incident is the second time an area motorist-assist operator has been killed while on the job. Another worker was killed on Interstate 435 in 2004.
Missouri law requires that motorists move over a lane when motorist-assist operators or other emergency vehicles are stopped at an accident.
Source: Kansas City Star, “Worker for MoDOT killed on Interstate 70,” Glenn E. Rice. September 21, 2012