Highway Safety

Last week, while getting into a car to leave a restaurant after lunch, I heard a “thump.” Glancing over to the southbound lanes of I-45 North from the parking lot, I saw two vehicles quickly stopping next to an exit ramp. At first, I could not tell what had happened. But as I looked further, I saw a man on the ground. I quickly told my companions to call 911 and raced to the scene. There, I found a couple of motorists leaning over a construction worker lying on his side on the pavement. Initially, he was motionless, so I feared that he had been killed. Then, as he rolled over on his back, I could see him start to breathe. I will not recount the details, but it was obvious that he was very seriously injured. Others were coming to help, including a lady who appeared to have medical training. Minutes – that seemed like hours – later, we could hear the siren of an emergency vehicle approaching the area which, by then, was heavily congested with traffic.

Afterwards, I never saw any news report about the incident. But from the appearance of the scene, it seems that he was hit as he was placing cones for a construction project. His co-workers hurried to his side. Like him, they had on safety vests. And there was an incomplete line of cones just prior to the accident site.

This sad episode, occurring shortly before Thanksgiving, is a reminder to each of us. With all of the construction on our community’s roadways, we need to be especially careful of the highway workers. They are constantly exposed to serious injury or death when vehicles rush by them.