Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tragic collision leads to close call for IRT worker Wednesday

Please help everyone stay safe this holiday weekend

By Mike Allende

A tragic collision early Wednesday morning in Parkland led to a close call for one of our Incident Response Team workers.
While helping with traffic control at a fatality collision Wednesday morning, our IRT truck was struck by a driver believed to be impaired.
At about 2:30 a.m., the driver of a semi truck pulled over to the gore point on eastbound SR 512 at SR 7 to check the GPS. Another driver then ran into the back of the semi truck at high speed without braking, according to the Washington State Patrol. The driver of the vehicle that hit the semi died from the crash injuries.

Fortunately, our IRT worker avoided being struck Wednesday morning by jumping over the barrier.
Meanwhile, our IRT worker arrived at the scene to set up traffic control and was setting up a sign just west of the crash. She noticed a vehicle headed at her at a high rate of speed and jumped over the barrier to avoid getting hit. That vehicle ran into our IRT truck and the driver was arrested for vehicular assault and is under suspicion of driving under the influence. That driver had minor injuries and her passenger was in critical condition with a broken femur.
The vehicle that struck our IRT truck. The driver
suffered minor injuries but their passenger
was in critical condition with a broken femur.

Our thoughts go out to everyone involved in these crashes and we are incredibly thankful that our employee and the rest of the emergency responders escaped uninjured.

Our state averages 850 roadway work zone injuries every year. In 96 percent of those cases, those injured are not the workers, but the other driver, their passenger or pedestrians.

Labor Day weekend is coming up and while most of our construction projects will be shut down for the holiday, there will be lots of traffic out there, and lots of emergency responders, including the State Patrol, fire department, tow trucks and, yes, our IRT, out helping people. It’s so important for drivers to make smart decisions on the highway, drive sober, focus on the road and give those road workers plenty of room to do their jobs. They are working to keep people safe and traffic moving and we want all of them to go home safely to their families.