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Maryland Highway Worker Killed in Fatal Truck Accident

The eighth highway worker fatality in the past five years was the first since 2006 and one of only a few that occurred outside of a construction zone. The accident took place in the very early hours of Thursday morning, last week. Ghassen Sabra was in the left lane of Route 50, in Anne Arundel County, presumably doing roadwork when he was struck from behind by a semi truck. The truck then left the scene, leaving Sabra crumpled on the road.

On the right side of the road, the yellow light affixed to Sabra's pickup truck continued to emit its warning beacon. The light should have warned the truck driver of Sabra's presence, should have signaled the need to proceed cautiously. Sabra also wore reflective clothing and this too should have caught the trucker's eye.

Still, Sabra was not following the Maryland State Highway Administration's safety procedures. It was around 1:00 a.m., dark, yet he was alone. Protocol would have called for at least one police escort or a state vehicle with flashing lights to be set up behind Sabra with the purpose of warning drivers.

It is also not clear what Sabra was doing. He appears to have been lying in the road, presumably doing work. However his employer, Sabra, Wang & Associates, has thus far declined to comment as to the reason for his late-night visit to Route 50.

Maryland police are continuing their search for the hit-and-run driver, but do not yet have a description of the vehicle.

More than 700 people lost their lives in construction-zone car accidents in 2008. It is important to stay alert and slow down in roadwork-zones. Speed and inattentiveness have cost the lives of both travelers and workers. Many more have suffered injury.

By slowing down a little and keeping your eyes peeled, you can do much to avoid such tragedy.

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