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PennDOT Stresses Safety After Three Workers Hit

Crews are back out patching potholes, asking for drivers to cooperate

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - We're learning more about Tuesday's crash in the Poconos, where three PennDOT workers were hit in a construction zone.

State police say a tractor trailer rammed into the back of a car, which then plowed into the workers.

All three PennDOT workers received medical attention, and one was flown to the hospital with serious injuries to his legs. A spokesperson for PennDOT says he remains in the hospital.

Crews were back out on the roads Wednesday and as you can imagine, they're shaken up.

Corey Reph and his co-workers are patching potholes. They work just inches from fast moving vehicles.

"The only thing seperating us is the white paintline out here," says Corey Reph, PennDOT Asst. Maintenance Manager of Carbon County.

Corey has had several close calls. He adds, "it's really dangerous."

Tuesday afternoon, crews were patching potholes along Interstate 80 West near Blakeslee when three workers and a PennDOT truck were hit. State police say a tractor trailer hit a Volvo, then the Volvo rammed into the workers.

"Any little slip up could cost someones' lives," says Sean Brown, PennDOT Press Officer.

Investigators say there were three people inside that Volvo, including an infant who was treated for minor injuries.

"We had almost 1,800 crashes within crash zones last year in Pensylvania," Brown explains.

Ironically, this is National Work Zone Awareness Week. PennDOT wants to remind you that this time of year especially, workers will be out in full force.

"So just be aware they want to get home to their families too just like you do," Brown says.

Crews are begging drivers to slow down, pay attention, and follow signage in work zones. PennDOT says construction can be a pain, but impatience can turn deadly.

"These are real workers lives that are out on the roadway," Brown says.

State police are still investigating and have not officially charged the tractor trailer driver. He could face several charges, including following too closely.

Investigators say the Volvo was traveling at a safe speed.

On Thursday, PennDOT had planned to hold a work zone safety press conference in the same construction site where the crash happened. The event is still scheduled, but will take place in a different location.


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