New Details: DOTD Highway Worker Killed

Local News

SIMSBORO, La (06/19/19)–When it comes to construction zones, we all need to remember that other people’s lives are on the line. DOTD worker, Jonny Cole, died when an 18-wheeler hit him as he and his partner were working on highway 563 checking road signs. Bryan who was on his forklift in the yard, was the first on the scene. 


 “I ran straight to the accident to see if I could help, but, as I saw what was unveiled  I knew there was nothing I could do,” said Bryan. 


State police say the 18- wheeler’s driver did not notice the work truck stopped in the roadway. The road leading up to the construction zone consists of a sharp turn with a speed limit of 20 miles per hour, following into a straight away. 


“I really don’t believe speed was an issue, I think it was lack of paying attention. Lights flashing, orange vest on, one man on one side of the road and one on another. In a straight away, coming out of a hairpin curve.” 


The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development wants to remind drivers to always slow down when approaching work zones and follow worker directions. 


“There is always things around us that tries to take our attention. Things outside, things inside, the radio, the telephone, so when you’re driving pay attention to what you’re doing,” said Thomas Hill, District Administrator for Louisiana DOTD.


In 2017 11 people died in work zones in the state of Louisiana, however, with 22 hundred miles of road, this is the first death of a DOTD worker in this district since 2017. The semi-driver has been cited for careless operation. 


Louisiana has a “move over law” that requires you to move into the far lane of traffic, not only for law enforcement, but also highway workers and tow or recovery trucks. 

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