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Ceremony honors those killed in work zones


Dec. 6, 2005 ( 05-235)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News Contact: Kim Stich, (785) 296-3585

Ceremony honors those killed in work zones

Kansas and Missouri Departments of Transportation employees gathered this morning to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in highway work zone crashes.

"An injury crash can have a huge effect on people's lives forever," said KDOT Director of Operations Mike Crow. "A fatality crash means someone's husband, wife, parent, sibling or friend is never coming home."

The ceremony took place in front of the National Work Zone Memorial at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City, Mo., in conjunction with the Heart of America Chapter of the American Traffic Safety Service Association's (ATSSA) 2005 How-To Conference.

The memorial also stresses the continuing need for safety in work zones. More than 1,000 people are killed in work zone crashes in the United States each year.

"We have too many good people, travelers as well as workers, that are killed or injured in work zones," said MoDOT Director of System Management Don Hillis. "We must all take personal responsibility to pay attention whenever we are driving, respect work zones and especially to watch out for workers out there trying to repair or improve the highways."

Wreaths were placed in front of the memorial for the two KDOT highway workers who were killed in work zones this year and their names have been submitted to be placed on the memorial. A ceremony took place last year for the MoDOT highway worker who was killed last year, and her name is included on the memorial.

The workers who were honored during the ceremony included:

  • KDOT employee Richard Cunningham, killed Aug. 1 on K-130 near Emporia;
  • KDOT employee Marvin "Scott" McDonald, killed June 1 on US-75 near Topeka;
  • MoDOT employee Julie Love, killed July 22, 2004, on I-435 in Kansas City.

KDOT employee Gary Burroughs was also honored at the ceremony. Burroughs was seriously injured in the crash that killed Cunningham. He spent nearly two months in the hospital and is still in physical therapy.

"Gary's supervisor recently said, 'You'll see this shop light up when Gary comes back,'" Crow stated. "I'd like to expand that and say, you will see ALL of KDOT light up on that day too."

The National Work Zone Memorial is sponsored by ATSSA and travels across the United States to recognize people killed in work zone accidents.

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