|Crews work with emergency responders and law enforcement to clean up a crash in a work zone on a rural road in northeast Missouri. No one was injured.
The two-lane rural road, Route NN in Clark County, has long sight distance. It's flat. It's straight. It has low traffic volume.
The MoDOT truck in the work zone had its lights and strobes on. Veteran crew worker Linley Lipper had shut off the loud diesel truck, so he could listen to a radio program while he and Kolt Kiger, a fairly new team member, were pothole patching along the road.
The man driving the pickup was going fishing, probably like he had done for many of his 80 years of life. He had his seat belt on and was driving about 55 mph. He just didn't see the work zone, plain and simple.
Thankfully, Linley saw him coming at them quickly. About 60 feet before impact, Linley yelled at the top of his lungs at Kolt, who saw what was happening and without a second to spare, jumped into the ditch.
"If that truck would have been on, I don't know if they would have heard the pickup approaching," said Maintenance Superintendent Ferdie Dames.
Ferdie prays for the safety of his crews every morning, he openly shares this at his employee fall meeting.
"I don't even want to think about what could have happened if just one thing would have been different at that time," Dames said. "The man's truck was totaled, but, thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident."
Linley and Kolt were pretty shaken up, as were their fellow crew members.
"We're so grateful they were watching out for each other and did what they were trained to do," he added.