PORTLAND — Being a highway worker is the most dangerous job there is and this week has been deadly in Oregon. Two men were killed at job sites in the northeastern part of the state.
54-year-old Donald Kendall of Ukiah was run over on Highway 320 near the town of Echo on Tuesday afternoon. He was on a paving crew standing behind a dump truck when it slowly backed up and ran over him. Co-workers rushed to his side and tried to save his life.
Kendall worked for the Oregon Department of Transportation for nearly 30 years operating snow plows and helping stranded drivers. He was a transportation maintenance specialist.
A man from Nevada working for a company hired by ODOT was run over by the back tires of a pick-up that was towing equipment on Interstate 84 west of Boardman late Wednesday night. Glen McCoy, 64, was installing rumble strips at a paving project.
Four people were killed in work zone accidents in 2013 and fifty have died in the past five years.
There are usually more than 500 work zones in the state and traffic fines are double in these areas. Crashes are typically more serious than most others with about 500 every year. The main causes are speeding and drivers not paying attention. The statistics are not on the side of drivers and passengers. They’re the ones most likely to be injured or killed.