On May 13, 2015, I was working in the westbound lanes of mile marker 217 (on the Kansas Turnpike) up north. We had the right lane shut down because we were milling rumble strips. I was working right inside the cones when an SUV came on my right side. It was going at least 50 mph when it struck my right hand, hard enough that it pushed in the mirror on the passenger side of the vehicle.
I’m so lucky I wasn’t more injured than I was. My hand was sprained and bruised, but fortunately, not broken. However, I was placed on restricted duty at work due to limited mobility and even had to attend physical therapy four or five times. In fact, due to some lingering pain and a tingling sensation, I will be visiting a specialist soon to look for further issues.
The vehicle that hit me? They didn’t even stop when it happened, and troopers caught the individual at mile marker 183. The driver told troopers she was afraid to stop because she knew she hit something, but not sure what it was.
It’s crazy to think that if that vehicle had been even one foot closer to me, I could have easily been killed. Please, slow down when you see workers on the road. Yes, roadwork can be an inconvenience, but we do it to make the roads better for you. We want to get home to our families after a day of work too, just like everyone else.
Larry Crane is an Assistant Highway Maintenance Foreman with the Kansas Turnpike Authority in the Bonner Springs area