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Hit and run shows danger of freeway work zones

When work gets done on the highways and roads of Montgomery County and the rest of Maryland it's easy for drivers to complain about the disruption they have to endure as a result. Rarely do we consider how dangerous it is for the men and women who are doing the work. They face myriad threats just from the equipment they may be using, but they have to deal with possibly negligent drivers, too.

In an effort to minimize inconvenience to drivers, lanes may be restricted but they are rarely shut down. That leaves the workers at even higher risk of becoming the next unnecessary victim of a collision. Workers' compensation is available to help injured workers through some of the toughest times of injury and recovery, but sometimes there is reason to extend the responsibility to a driver, if one can be found.

Police in Baltimore are said to be looking for just such a driver after an accident that happened about a week ago. Officials say a construction worker who was at a worksite on the side of Interstate 95 near Baltimore suffered a shattered leg and dislocated elbow after being struck by a car. The driver of the vehicle didn't bother to stop and the accident happened so fast that the victim and a co-worker weren't able to collect much identifying information about the vehicle.

The collision occurred just after midnight in the southbound lanes of the freeway near Caton Avenue. Authorities say the man and his co-worker were laying down striping on a section of highway when a car crossed over into the blocked off area, struck him and then continued on. Crash reconstruction officials say they suspect the vehicle involved was a silver or gold General Motors sedan. They've been asking the public for help in possibly finding it.

Meanwhile, authorities are urging motorists to be more cautious in work zones. They note that in 2010, Maryland recorded 1,700 crashes in highway work zones. They say 833 people were injured in those crashes and six were killed.

Source: WJZ-TV, "Construction Worker Recovering After Hit-And-Run On I-95; Driver Still At Large," Derek Valcourt, March 19, 2012

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