For some workers, the road is the most dangerous workplace at their job. This can be especially true for construction workers or employees of the Illinois Department of Transportation. Two out-of-state DOT workers were injured on the job when their department vehicle blew a tire. Sadly, one other was killed.
Although not actually on site for maintenance or construction, the four DOT employees were on their way to perform necessary paving work in a nearby construction zone when their truck developed a flat tire. The crew pulled over to the shoulder of the road and called for another truck to deliver supplies that would allow them to change out the tire. While they were waiting, an 18-wheeler left the roadway and veered into the shoulder, hitting two different DOT vehicles.
The first DOT truck was struck with such force that it flew forward and hit one of the workers, killing him upon impact. Two other workers involved in the accident suffered serious injuries, one of whom had to be flown to a hospital in critical condition. Police report that the driver of the 18-wheeler was also injured and transported to an area hospital. The driver is currently under criminal investigation by local police as the area in which the wreck occurred had clear and open visibility, meaning that the driver should have seen the disabled vehicle well in advance.
Illinois workers who are required to travel for their jobs have to contend with more than just typical workplace dangers. Car accidents on the interstate often involve vehicles traveling at high speeds, which can lead to severe injuries and even death. Although being killed or injured on the job while on the road might not be considered a workplace injury to some, workers’ compensation benefits are provided to victims who were harmed during the course of completing their work-related duties. In instances such as this, injured workers and their surviving family members are still eligible to receive these valuable benefits.
Source: wrcbtv.com, “TDOT worker killed, 3 injured in crash involving semi on I-40“, Kara Apel and Kevin Trager, April 28, 2016