BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An alarming and deadly trend. A highway worker killed on the job in a construction zone. Police believe there is a possibility the driver wasn’t paying attention.
The victim was a flag person, helping to direct traffic in a construction zone. Police say the driver who hit him may have been speeding. Around 1 p.m. Monday afternoon, traffic came to a halt.
Police say Rodney Chase was in a work zone on Fort Smallwood Road near Pasadena, when a driver struck and killed him.
“The driver failed to see that construction worker or that individual trying to control traffic and as a result ran him over and hit him,” says Lt. Ryan Frashure, Anne Arundel County Police spokesman.
These are alarming statistics for the state highway administration. In the most recent available data, nine people were killed in work zone crashes in 2015, and 769 others were injured including drivers and passengers.
Laurie Moser’s husband Richard died in a similar crash in 2007, and now the widow has become a work zone safety advocate for increasing awareness of the dangers.
“I want to spare other families from experiencing any tragedies such as ours,” says Moser.
Chase was employed by PDI Sheetz construction based in Linthicum. The company was a contractor for the State Highway Administration.
Police are still investigating exactly why the driver in Monday’s deadly collision did not slow down, even as Fort Smallwood road narrowed to a single lane.
But the state highway is pleading with drivers to pay attention, especially when they’re in a construction zone.
“This tragic incident really does underscore how dangerous it is for our workforce just to be out on the road doing the work that they are doing,” says Lora Rakowski, State Highway Administration.
Once again police are still investigating why the driver hit that worker. The state attorney’s office will determine if charges will be filed.
The state highway administration says the majority of the people who die in work zone crashes are drivers and passengers.