ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to keep their eyes on the road and not drive distracted after two of its trucks were recently struck on area roadways.
MoDOT crews were working to fill potholes and clean debris at the time of both accidents.
Frank Shadwell, a maintenance worker with MoDOT, experienced the dangers of his job last Friday when a truck barreled into the back of his MoDOT truck as it was cleaning the fast lane of Interstate 270 near Gravois.
“You know you have to keep your head on a swivel because distracted drivers are not going to do it for you,” Shadwell said. “The driver did not seem to be slowing down so I actually hit the gas to move the truck forward and that’s when he struck.”
MoDOT reports that last Thursday, another driver slammed the back of a MoDOT truck at I-44 and Bowles and told the Missouri State Highway Patrol that they looked down for a second to plug in a cigarette lighter.
In both instances, MoDOT maintenance engineer Bob Becker said the vehicles struck the truck-mounted attenuators, which saved the drivers and the workers from serious injury.
“They are a type of crash cushion basically to slow a vehicle down as it hits us,” said Becker.
Becker cautioned drivers to keep their eyes on the road and slow down especially if they see emergency crews or MoDOT workers who may be moving slowly on the roadways.
“If you’re traveling 60 or 70 miles an hour and they are traveling 10 miles an hour, it’s like they are stopped on the middle of the road. You see them but you don’t realize how fast you’ll get on top of them,” said Becker.