SPOKANE, Wash. — A maintenance crew with the Washington State Department of Transportation narrowly escaped injury on Monday when a vehicle crashed into their work zone.
State DOT leaders said the crash happened on eastbound I-90 at the Hamilton off-ramp while the crew was repairing a barrier. A vehicle traveling at a high speed crashed into the barrier and a pre-warning sign, alerting workers to jump over the barrier to avoid the car hitting their work truck.
The driver was taken into custody for DUI by the Washington State Patrol after a short foot chase, state DOT leaders said.
“We are so grateful our workers are safe but another week, another remind to please make smart choices before getting behind the wheel, focus on the road, slow down and give work crews as much room as possible,” the DOT wrote on Facebook.
About 60 WSDOT employees have lost their lives on the job since 1950. Last year alone, there were more than 1,500 crashes in work zones.
In March, a crew was nearly hit on Highway 3 as they worked on the shoulder. One of the workers closed his eyes and jumped down an embankment to escape a semi-truck barreling down the guardrail toward him.
Washington drivers can face a $136 fine if they fail to move over or slow down when passing WSDOT crews or emergency vehicles.