You will always be loved

By Shirley McDonald
Before you turn on the ignition of your vehicle, take a moment and a deep breath.  Focus.  Clear your mind and think safety for yourself and others.  Engage your seat belt, forget the cell phone. 
Before entering a work zone, pay attention to the alerts that are given well before entry into the zone.  Think about those whose lives depend upon you.  We have all heard these admonitions, unfortunately many do not really listen to the message. Save a life, it may be your own.
In memory of Scott McDonald
killed in a work zone June 1, 2005:
A fraction of a second, a different decision, more awareness, and response ability and you might still be here with your family and friends.  A horrific work zone accident on highway 75 took you away from us 10 years ago and our memories, dreams and plans with you and for you all changed. 
Now you are immortalized, frozen in time while we go on living.  You are missed every second of every day. Your loss created a hole that cannot be filled.  A piece of each of us left behind died with you. Thankfully, you gave so much to us during your life that we can hold on to who you were and who you were becoming, but we will never know who you would have become. 
Your enthusiasm for life, your constant dreaming that life would always get better, knowing that effort and direction in life could get you where you wanted to be are sorely missed. Your commitment to caring for and about others is a precious memory. Each holiday, birthday, anniversary, special shared event becomes a time of sadness and memory of you and your lack of presence in our lives today. We have had to learn to get beyond constant grief and focus on today and what we can do to honor your name. 
As we have said goodbye to other relatives and friends our grief for your loss has swelled again and threatened to overtake us, but that grief has also proven to us that life goes on and that even with grief there can be joy as we commit to other relationships taking the risk to lose again knowing the benefits of being connected.
No one knows what happens when we die. But my mother's belief is that heaven exists and that you are there at peace and with those you have loved who have gone before you. I believe that you can see those of us left behind and serve as our angel. You will always be loved.
Shirley McDonald is the mother of KDOT employee Scotty McDonald, who was killed in a work zone crash in 2005.


  1. Anonymous3/25/2015

    Highway workers use safe practices when they are out working to maintain the Kansas road system, but they are completly reliant on the safe driving practices of motorists driving on our Kansas roads, so we all need to be extra alert in work zones.

  2. Shirley, What a heart-felt tribute to your son and a great reminder to everyone to slow down and really pay attention while driving. Thank you.

  3. This whole story is so powerful, but the sentence, you are missed every second of every day really hits home. And to think of all the things you and your family have missed out on sharing with him is so sad. Lives are on the line in work zones and families are affected forever.

  4. Shirley, beautiful words. It is hard to believe it was 10 years ago, it still feels like yesterday when it happened. I was one of the first few that arrived on scene after the call went out over the radio. RIP Scotty. Honor you with a moment of memory of you, every time I pass your memorial!

    1. Anonymous3/27/2015

      Scott, thanks so much for your efforts on behalf of Scotty at the accident. Coming to suh a scene must have been horrifying. I have always been comforted by knowing that others were with him in his last moments of life. I believe that he knew you were there trying to help and that it helped him to be less frightened. Thanks also for continuing to remember him.