Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on September 26th, 2012,
by Zane Cagle

Motorist Assist Worker Killed by Drunk Driver on Interstate 70

Posted on September 26th, 2012 by Zane Cagle

A Missouri Department of Transportation worker is dead after being struck by a drunk driver, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  The motorist assist worker had responded to an earlier crash in the early morning hours Friday morning on Interstate 70 near the I-470 interchange in Independence.  While the MoDOT employee was attempting to reroute traffic, the drunk driver drove through road cones and slammed into the worker.  The motorist assist worker, who had just celebrated his 15th year on the job, was pronounced dead at the scene.  The drunk driver was seriously injured when his car crashed into a MODOT vehicle.  He was charged with involuntary manslaughter with a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit.

This death is the first since Missouri expanded its law requiring drivers to move over when emergency vehicles are on the shoulder to include MODOT vehicles.  This new provision was enacted as part of a national campaign to raise driver awareness of the dangers associated with emergency workers on the highway.  Groups have begun making PSAs and other educational materials to alert drivers to the laws, as well as to the dangers in not moving for emergency vehicles.

According to statistics put out by the National Traffic Incident Management Coalition, over 300 police officers are killed each year while writing a ticket or responding to an emergency on the roadway.  The same organization says that more than 20% of all firefighter deaths in a given year are on roadways.  These jobs are inherently dangerous and do not need the unnecessary risks posed by inattentive or intoxicated drivers.  With greater education about the dangers in not changing lanes, hopefully these numbers will begin to come down.

In Missouri, 131 MODOT workers have died on the job since 1932.  The frequency of workers dying on the job has greatly decreased over the past two decades.  This death was the first for MODOT since 2008, and only the 16th since 1997.  While this number is still far too high for the families and friends of those killed, it represents a sharp decrease from the 1970s, when 30 workers were killed in a decade, the most in a given decade.  With greater improvements such as safety vests, better warning lights, and laws designed to compel motorists to move, Missouri lawmakers hope to keep all workers safe while helping others on the road. Not only is is critical to keep state transporation workers safe, I have blogged about other motor assists workers that have been killed or seriously injured when on the side of the road doing their job.

Zane T. Cagle and the Missouri car crash attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm respect all those who risk their lives to help others.  The motorist assist workers have helped many of our clients after they have been injured in a Missouri car crash.  These selfless men and women brave many dangerous conditions in order to make sure other motorists are not injured.  The least other motorists can do is show courtesy (and respect for the law) in moving over to ensure these people are not injured on the job.  If everyone works together, we can make emergency worker wrongful deaths a thing of the past.

If you or a loved one has been in a car crash in Missouri, Illinois, or Kentucky, the car crash attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm are here to help.  These attorneys have the experience, compassion, and aggressiveness to make sure you get back to whole after a car crash.  For a free consultation, call 1.800.685.3302 today.