(WTRF) -In Ohio alone, 4,500 crashes occurred in work zones last year. Members of ODOT crews were struck in 125 of those incidents.
Despite less traffic in the year of the pandemic, work zone crashes are still numerous and deadly.
ODOT worker Lamont Shelton tells his family every day that he loves them.
Because you never know if you’re gonna make it home or not.Lamont Shelton, ODOT Worker
Linda Cook got the worst call of her life when her husband was working on the highway,.
His boss John told me there’s been a bad accident.Linda Cook, Widow of Highway Worker
At the hospital, she learned he’d been killed.
It was by a drunk driver. He had alcohol and drugs in his system, crack cocaine and meth in his system while he was texting.Linda Cook, Widow of Highway Worker
Shelton sees unfocused drivers every day.
Somebody tried or somebody who has to send out that text or somebody who is just eating a sandwich or reading the paper. I’ve seen that! Reading the paper driving down the road.Lamont Shelton, ODOT Worker
They both said drivers don’t realize the dangers that highway workers face so close to traffic and working in all elements outside.
Put the sandwich down. Get plenty of rest. Don’t drive tired. Pay attention to our signs. Pay attention to the flashing lights. I know you see ’em way to often but pay more attention to ’em. Because there could be a guy standing out in the middle of the road flagging for you.Lamont Shelton, ODOT Worker
Last year in Ohio, Highway Patrol handed out almost 7,400 citations for speeding in work zones.