It was October 28, 2014. I remember it was around lunchtime and it was a nice, bright sunny day. We were working on patching a part of the road at mile marker 204. The road was down to one lane on the outside. To keep safe, we had a crash barrier with an arrow board on the back of a truck to signal to drivers we were around.
The wind was breezy that day, so I let a car pass by - I didn’t want it to get asphalt on it. Then I stepped out on the divider line. I saw another car coming, and I believed I was making eye contact with the driver. The next thing I knew, that car swerved over and hit the cone just in front of our barrier truck. I yelled, “Look out!” and rushed two steps back. The car went down into that hole where I was standing! The driver came out of the hole and just barely missed our other truck. She took out more cones while she fled the scene.
Fortunately, we were able to call it in to troopers who caught up with the driver later down the road, thanks to the good description a fellow co-worker got of the vehicle and the driver. We later learned that she admitted to the trooper she fell asleep at the wheel.
If I hadn’t seen that vehicle, it’s likely I wouldn’t have gotten out of the way in time. My co-worker who was on a truck would have most likely been hit as well. I guess it just wasn’t my day to die, and I’m grateful for that!
If you’re driving through a work zone, remember to slow down and pay attention. Move over for workers. When you see those arrow boards telling you to move over, do so immediately, not later. Workers put their lives at risk making the roads better for you.