Drivers urged to use caution in work zones after fatal accident

SANDUSKY COUNTY, OH (WTOL) – A day after a fatal work zone accident claimed the life of 53 year-old Turnpike Commission worker Forest John Fletcher, officials with the Ohio State Highway Patrol are encouraging drivers to use caution in construction zones.

"You can choose to follow signs, slow down, leave extra room, choose not to text and drive," said State Highway Patrol Sergeant Robert Sellers. "Those are all choices you can make."

While the cause of Tuesday's accident is still under investigation, officials say drivers should slow down and pay close attention when driving in a work zone.  Fines are doubled in construction zones for misdemeanors like speeding, and a driver who injures someone in a work zone can face criminal prosecution.  Officials say they are unsure if charges will be filed in Tuesday's accident as the investigation is ongoing.

Sergeant Sellers says there are a lot of safety measures in place to protect workers.  "There are shifting lane patterns, there's reduced speeds, there are cones, there's workers present," said Sellers.  A flagger also watches for potential hazards and sounds an air-horn in the event of danger.  That air horn did allow one worker to get out of the way of the accident on Tuesday.

Despite the safety precautions in work zones, Tuesday's accident is just one of the 5,000 work zone traffic accidents that happen every year.  Sergeant Sellers says the reasonability for keeping workers safe ultimately lies with drivers.

Copyright 2012 WTOL.  All Rights Reserved.  Related Story: