A driver, stopped in traffic in a Texas highway construction zone, said he was about to strike up a conversation with a road worker when a speeding SUV struck the man. The fatal car accident occurred in weekday-morning traffic in Jasper County, along on northbound Farm Road 105.
The Texas Department of Transportation confirmed the highway flagger hit by the vehicle was a 23-year-old employee of APAC subcontractor, Eagle-Pro. The Jasper man was part of a highway crew assigned to foundation repair work for FM 105 south of Evadale.
State police and Texas Department of Public Safety investigators report that the flagger, carrying a stop sign, was directing and controlling the traffic flow past the construction area not far from the MeadWestvaco plant. One vehicle was already stopped in the northbound construction zone when the accident occurred.
The stopped driver, the witness who said he was on the verge of a conversation with the road worker, told authorities that he saw an SUV come around the side his vehicle. The witness said he saw the vehicle strike the worker. The flagger reportedly was thrown 25 to 30 feet onto the shoulder of the road, where he was pronounced dead. The driver, from Buna, Texas, stopped after the crash.
No immediate charges were filed against the 29-year-old driver of the sport utility vehicle, who sustained minor accident injuries. The state Department of Public Safety said any charges related to the construction zone accident will be made only after a full investigation is completed by the Jasper County Sheriff's Office and state police.
This tragic accident shows how seriously drivers need to take reduced speed limit signs in construction zones. Construction workers are often required to work very close to moving traffic, and if drivers don't follow restrictions, an accident like this one can happen. Hopefully this accident and others like it will help encourage Texas drivers to slow down in construction zones.
Source: KFDM, "Highway worker struck, killed on FM 105 south of Evadale," Aug. 17, 2011