MoDOT Employee Killed in Missouri Road Accident

MoDOT Employee Killed in Missouri Road Accident

A worker with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) was killed last week on the job. He was working alongside Interstate 70, right by the Interstate 470 interchange in Independence just before 3:00 a.m., according to The Republican.

The man had been with the DOT for close to 20 years. He was working to reroute traffic around the scene of an accident when he was hit by a passing vehicle. The driver involved in the accident has been arrested and is now facing charges of involuntary manslaughter. Officers have determined that he had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than .18, which is more than twice the legal limit in the state.

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The recent accident is really drawing some attention from safe driving advocates and transportation officials in the state; it’s a sad illustration of the need for a new law to better protect emergency responders and highway employees who work within feet of speeding traffic.

Our St. Louis car accident lawyers understand that roadside workers, including construction crews, emergency responders, officers and traffic officials, face some serious risks for accidents.

Passing traffic is oftentimes ignorant toward the presence and the safety of these individuals and drivers too often neglect to change lanes, slow down or make other accommodations. There was a state law that was put into place to help to prevent these kinds of accidents. It took effect back in August and works to make sure that drivers make a lane change when a DOT or other official vehicle is stopped at the side of the road. These additions were made to the existing law that makes motorists do this for emergency responders and officers. If you’re busted violating this law, then you face a one-year jail sentence and a fine of $1,000.

According to MoDOT, there are close to 2,500 state workers who do their job on or near the side of the road and and every day. The recent accident marks the first death this year and the fifth since 2000.

According to the MoDOT spokesman, Bob Brendel, officials welcome a change in the law to help to make sure that these workers are better protected — noting they work in an office with a 70 mile an hour speed limit. Their concentration can’t always be on the passing traffic.

Distracted drivers have always been a concern for officers in the state, many of them who spend most of their day patrolling our roadways.

“I don’t think anyone who has worked on patrol for very long couldn’t tell you a story of feeling a car go by and all but hitting you in the back or side,” said Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Lt. John Hotz.

When passing a roadside worker, an emergency responder or a police officer, you’re asked to slow down and to move away from that side of the road. Change lanes and give them some extra room for safety. It’s not only the law, but it’s the right and safe thing to do!

More Blog Entries:

Missouri Car Accidents & Setting Safe Examples for Teen Drivers, St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Blog, September 30, 2012

Missouri Auto Accidents: Increase in Roadway Fatalities Already Reported in 2012, St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer Blog, August 18, 2012

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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