Too Close

By Cody King

KDOT Equipment Operator Cody King shares a story about an incident that took place and shows why safety on our highways should always be the top priority.

            I started off the day mowing down by 399th street on 69 highway. While mowing the mower had a malfunction, so I called my supervisor to let him know and I started the drive into our shop on the shoulder. While driving, I had my strobes on as well as my running lights and my flashers. I got ready to go across the 303rd bridge on 69 highway and like always, I looked into my mirror to make sure no one was in the lane closest to me.
 When I looked up, I saw a semi-truck crossing the white line onto the shoulder behind me and it wasn’t slowing down. At this point there was nowhere for me to bail off the highway because I was next to the guard rail. The semi side swiped me and I bounced between it and the bridge rail as it and I went across the bridge. Many different scenarios could have happened then but luckily the driver of the semi and myself were not harmed.
After I got to the other side of the bridge I pulled off and called my supervisor on the radio to let him know what had just happened, also I got out and removed the debris from the highway. As I walked back to the tractor and mower, I looked them over for damage. The semi had only hit one of the axels on the mower and had rubbed the left rear tire. All in all, the tractor and mower weren’t badly damaged. Like I said before, luckily the driver of the semi and myself were not harmed.
This accident has made me more aware while working on the highway. I always make sure to wait farther back before crossing a bridge and I always double check to make sure the lane is clear. My goal is to make sure me and my co-workers get home safely every night, so I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure I am safe and to make sure they’re safe while we’re working.  



  1. Kristi Ericksen9/24/2014

    Wow, Cody, what a scary experience! I am so glad that you weren't hurt. And you're right, it only takes a couple of seconds, maybe a minute, to hang back and do that double check. And every driver would benefit from that one action, me included. I will remember your story and I will work hard to add that minute into my travels. Thank you!!

  2. Cody: What a morning wake-up call your blog is - for drivers and highway workers. Although I have some really choice words for that semi driver it is a great relief that neither you nor he/she was injured. Your story emphasizes the need to be always aware of our surroundings and to drive defensively.

  3. Anonymous9/24/2014

    So glad you both are safe. It must be very difficult to concentrate on your job while always having to watch out for motorists. But I hope you and your co-workers reach your goal every day and get home safely every night.

  4. Cody, your story really highlights the dangers involved in being a highway worker. While we want all drivers to stay alert and slow down or move over for highway worker, the fact is that there are still too many who are not alert enough and/or distracted. Keep up the good work and stay safe.