July 25th, 2020
Indiana was hit with sad news over the weekend involving a work zone crash at the I-65 north split near Washington Street and Indianapolis. The incident has claimed the life of 23-year-old construction worker David Vasquez Jr. of Terre Haute, Indiana.
According to Indiana State Police (ISP), the accident occurred on Saturday, shortly after midnight, and appears to have involved an intoxicated driver who failed to properly merge.
Instead of safely merging, the driver swerved onto the shoulder of the interstate to avoid hitting a construction arrow board that indicated a lane closure. This resulted in the vehicle coming into contact with Mr. Vasquez while he was standing inside the construction zone.
After striking Mr. Vasquez, the vehicle also made contact with a construction truck, spun back into southbound traffic and collided with a semi-truck and another car.
Indiana State Police responding to the scene immediately took the driver into custody with a preliminary charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death.
Construction Workers Continue to Face Highway Dangers
One of our most recent blogs covered the dangers of construction zones for drivers, as Indiana’s interstates and highways continue to undergo regular repair.
However, as illustrated by this most recent tragedy, stories of highway workers being killed or seriously injured by inattentive, speeding, or inebriated drivers continue to make headlines throughout Indiana.
According to National Workzone Safety’s Information Clearinghouse, the U.S. saw 128 road workers killed in construction zone accidents during 2018, with the previous 3-year average totaling 135 fatal accidents involving road workers.
Specifically, Indiana accounted for 8 of the 2018 deaths, with a previous 3-year average of 6 fatal accidents involving Hoosier road workers.
These numbers are unacceptable, and it begs the question: What can be done to save the lives of our road construction workers?
In most instances, it comes down to drivers applying common sense, as road worker deaths are typically caused by the usual suspects:
- Inebriated drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Drivers distracted by their phone, in-dash screens, radio, passengers, etc.
- Drivers who speed in construction zones.
- Drivers who ignore construction zone signs, warnings, traffic reconfiguration, etc.
Understanding that road workers are incredibly vulnerable, drivers MUST exercise extreme caution in and around construction zones.
Committing any of the above-listed offenses jeopardizes your safety as well as the lives and health of fellow drivers and Indiana’s road workers.
Why Night-Time Construction?
With this most recent incident occurring near midnight, some people may be curious as to why Indiana and other states resort to nighttime construction when repairing or fixing roadways.
Of course, the immediate benefit of nighttime construction is the reduction in roadway activity that is primarily associated with daytime driving hours.
A reduction in traffic leads to a number of other nighttime advantages, including:
- Lessens the negative impact on traffic and motorists who might otherwise face daytime delays.
- Decreases the chances of an accident between vehicles and/or road workers.
- More flexibility for road workers and crews to complete jobs.
- Workers face a decreased exposure to motor vehicle emissions.
- Cooler temperatures for workers.
- Less environmental pollution from idling vehicles that are stopped or waiting in construction zone areas.
Anyone who has driven through a construction zone during nighttime hours is familiar with the large industrial lights, electronic signs, flashing/blinking barrel lights, and other safety measures. However, nothing will ever allow road workers to be fully immune to the dangers associated with their jobs, whether it be during the day or evening.
As supported by this weekend’s accident, it can also be said that road workers may face increased instances of dangers involving drivers who are speeding and/or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Boulton Law Group Supports Indiana’s Road Workers
For over 20 years, attorney Matt Boulton has committed himself to help Hoosiers who were injured through no fault of their own.
During his time as an Indianapolis personal injury attorney, he has witnessed and counseled a number of victims who were involved in accidents that occurred in an Indiana construction zone.
Boulton Law Group offers all road workers and their families a Zero Fee Guarantee. This promise helps to ensure that all of Indiana’s road workers have access to award-winning legal representation.
Anyone wishing to speak to attorney Boulton can call him direct at 317-350-2680.
If you prefer to write to us with the details of your incident, you can use our confidential contact form. Attorney Boulton personally reviews every web contact sent to our firm.
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.