by Robert Turner
The day started out as any other day in September 2004. As an Equipment Operator for the Kansas Department of Transportation in the Kansas City metro area, my duties were to operate equipment and be the lead worker on my crew.
At about 10:30 that night after a normal day at work, I was called by my supervisor to assist the Kansas Highway Patrol with traffic control for a serious injury accident. My duties were to close a ramp at the interchange of two major interstates. After setting my equipment up to close the ramp everything seemed to be going well.
After about an hour I noticed a vehicle not wanting to obey all the traffic control. After a few moments, I determined that the driver was not going to stop and they crashed through my cones. I dove out of the way and the vehicle struck my legs as I was in mid flight, catching the inside of my left leg with his front passenger side fender.
The vehicle continued up the ramp almost striking several patrol officers. After a short chase, they were able to catch the driver. He was very drunk, almost twice the legal limit.
I was not seriously hurt, just some bumps and bruises, but it was very scary. It just shows the level of safety we must all take when working on or near the roadway.
I have told this story many times, but if I can get one person to not drink and drive, it will be all worth it.
Robert Turner is the Highway Maintenance Supervisor in Olathe