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MnDOT honors fallen transportation workers on Worker Memorial Day

Apr 29, 2022 06:01AM ● By Editor
Photo: KBJR-TV

By Miranda Johnson of KBJR-TV • April 28, 2022

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is honoring the men and women who have been killed or injured while working on state roadways for Worker Memorial Day.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz proclaimed Thursday, April 28, 2022, as Worker Memorial Day in Minnesota. The day is meant to recognize the high price that transportation workers have paid in the construction and maintenance of Minnesota’s transportation system.

According to MnDOT, 35 MnDOT workers and 16 contractors have lost their lives while working on Minnesota highways since 1960.

The following are the workers from southeast Minnesota who have lost their lives in work-related incidents:

  • John Biever: Mr. Biever was working on a bridge on Highway 16 when he was hit by a truck on September 13, 1962.
  • Eugene Mitchell: Mr. Mitchell died working for MnDOT while in District 6 on April 23, 1964.
  • Earl D. Held: Mr. Held died while on a survey crew. He was on Highway 65 when three of the four men were struck by an automobile on October 30, 1964.
  • Roy Carls: Mr. Carls was on his way home from a meeting when his vehicle left the road and hit a bridge abutment. He died March 2, 1968.
  • Jerry Holter: Mr. Holter was struck and run over by a truck while performing inspection duties on October 16, 1973.
  • Grayston Cain: Mr. Cain lost his life when he was struck by a truck while he was performing inspection duties on August 28, 1980.
  • Thomas Schmit: Mr. Schmit fell from a falsework deck suspended under a bridge and drowned in the Mississippi River on October 21, 1994.

“Every day, road workers across the state put themselves on the line to keep Minnesota’s roads safe for everyone,” said Nancy Daubenberger, MnDOT interim commissioner. “Those workers – and everyone traveling through work zones – deserve to get home safely. Please, slow down and avoid distractions in work zones to help keep our workers—and yourself—safe.”

MnDOT said that motorists and passengers are involved in the majority of work zone deaths and injuries. MnDOT urges all drivers to follow these recommendations in work zones:

  • Drive the speed limit. It helps create a consistent, more predictable traffic flow for everyone.
  • Don’t drive distracted. Drivers need to be alert especially in work zones, which constantly change due to lane shifts, closures and moving workers and vehicles.
  • Move over to give workers room to safely complete their work.
  • Avoid unnecessary lane changes.
  • Be patient; expect delays, especially during peak travel times.

Visit MnDOT’s Transportation Worker Memorial website to see the list of fallen workers and the worker memorial at MnDOT headquarters.

To see the original post and read related stories, follow this link to the KBJR-TV website.
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