ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Friday marked the one-year anniversary of a tragedy that took the lives of two MoDOT workers and injured a third.
Kaitlyn Anderson, 25, and 58-year-old James Brooks were part of a striping project on Telegraph Road over I-255 in south St. Louis County when both workers were struck and killed by a driver plowing through traffic cones.
FOX 2 reported several stories about the tragedy. The driver of the car evaded criminal charges because of a reported medical condition. Family members have criticized MoDOT for not doing enough to protect workers. The agency did not have a buffer truck at the site to help protect the crew that day.
A worker injured in the crash, Michael Brown, said he was then terminated for using marijuana in his recovery from the injuries he suffered.
Brown and the families of Anderson and Brooks returned to the site Friday night for an evening vigil to remember the victims and call for change.
“It hurts,” said Tonya Musskopf, mother of Kaitlyn Anderson. “I almost canceled twice, but I owe it to her to make a difference.”
Brown suffered a brain injury and was apprehensive about returning to the site where he was struck.
“I’ve been told by multiple people in my recovery that eventually all those memories will be flooding back, so that’s one of my biggest fears,” he said.
MoDOT has cited pending litigation as a reason the agency has not publicly responded to the questions family members have raised.
“I feel as of this point, no one has been accountable,” said Brigit, the widow of Brooks.
Tabatha Moore, Anderson’s aunt, wore a t-shirt with images of her niece and unborn baby along with the words, “MoDOT failed them.”
“They were robbed of their future because of carelessness and negligence from a driver who wasn’t taking care of himself and from a state entity that was not enforcing training, overseeing training, and making sure their employees were safe,” she said.