ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Relatives of Kaitlyn Anderson and James Brooks fear Missouri is no safer on the one-year anniversary of a fatal work zone crash in south St. Louis County.
Brigit Brooks, the widow of James, said, “There’s not enough being done.”
Tonya Musskopf, Anderson’s mom, adds, “There’s been no justice. There’s been no accountability.”
Musskopf and Brooks never met until after Nov. 18 last year, when Kaitlyn Anderson died with her unborn baby Jaxx, while on a MoDOT striping job on Telegraph over Interstate 270. James Brooks, who was working alongside her, also died in the collision.
Tonya said, “Brigit Brooks is a part of my family now, and I know that her husband held my baby’s hand.”
“We are connected,” Brigit added.
Where are we one year later? Tonya said, “The same place we were last year,” as she cried, “The exact same place.”
Brigit added, “There’s just no accountability. The man who did this walks. The supervisor, everybody is walking.”
MoDOT has said the crew should have been protected by a buffer truck that day. A supervisor was written up in a probation letter saying, “You failed to ensure your team was educated on where to locate and use current (buffer trucks) to properly set up work zones.”
That supervisor still has his job. The driver who plowed into the work zone evaded criminal charges because of a reported medical condition.
All while a third surviving MoDOT, who suffered a brain injury that day, was fired. Mike Brown’s MoDOT termination letter calls him out for telling a state doctor he was using marijuana in his recovery.
Brigit commented, “The pain that he’s in, I just don’t get that.”
MoDOT has repeatedly declined to answer FOX 2’s questions, citing the lawsuit filed by Tonya, who maintains, “I will not be silenced.”
They hang onto their memories. Tonya does so through a scrap book she builds on daily. She points to pictures from Kaitlyn’s childhood to adulthood. “Here’s a page with her starting school to her graduating high school,” Tonya said.
Brigit added, “I just keep replaying over and over in my mind – the dreams that I had. The plans that James and I had – are all gone. I have to start over. I don’t know how to start over.”
Together, they hope to spare other families from their pain. They will return to the fatal crash scene Friday at 7 pm – for a vigil. Everyone is invited
Tonya said, “We want lives to be saved. We want MoDOT to make changes and we want drivers to slow down and move over.”
Brigit added, “This battle is not over, and I don’t know how long it’s going to be, but we’re here to the end.”