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Fatal Accident Demonstrates Danger of Roadside Work

A Jackson County, Missouri, judge sentenced a Missouri man to a nine-year prison sentence for his involvement in a multiple-vehicle crash that claimed the life of a Missouri Department of Transportation employee, according to

The automobile accident took place in September of 2012 and was determined to be caused by a 36-year-old lawyer. The accident involved four vehicles and took place on Missouri’s Interstate 70. The driver of the car who was determined to be the cause of the accident pled guilty to first-degree voluntary manslaughter. Reports indicate that his blood-alcohol level was .184, more than twice the legal limit in the state of Missouri.

Court documents indicate that the man who caused the crash was also operating his vehicle at a high rate of speed at the time of the accident. The victim of the crash recently celebrated 15 years of service as an employee of the Missouri State Department of Transportation. He was struck and killed on Interstate 70 while working on the highway. Reports indicate that the man who caused the accident “ignored warnings and barreled through barriers prior to hitting” the man, then “slammed” into a vehicle owned by the Department of Transportation, which burst into flames.

The accident took place following the passage of recent legislation, requiring motorists to change lanes and reduce speed when police, emergency personnel or state motorist assistance vehicles are working along the roadway. The measure was put in place to promote road safety and also prevent workplace accidents.

Highway Worker Accident Statistics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention produced a report in 2014, indicating a drastic decline in fatalities reported in construction, maintenance and work zones from 2000 to 2012. From 2000 to 2006, an average of nearly 1,100 annual fatalities were reported. From 2007 to 2012 the number declined to an average of 700 annual fatalities.

Of the work zone fatalities reported in 2012, 76 percent were caused by transportation incidents. Most often, the fatalities claimed the lives of construction laborers, highway maintenance workers, heavy truck and tractor-trailer truck drivers, construction supervisors and construction equipment operators.

When you go to work each day, you should not have to worry about the many dangers that may accompany your workday. If your job puts you at risk of injury, it is important that you have a full understanding of the regulations required of employers to keep their employees safe. Additionally, laws in the State of Missouri may designate an avenue to recovery, such as Worker’s Compensation, for those injured while on the job.

If you or a loved one has been injured, or has lost their life in a roadway crash or a workplace incident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney today. Your case may involve complex litigation issues that you do not have to go through alone.