Road Work SafetyThe article below by Joe Gorman of the Tribune Chronicle relates to the death in a vehicle collision in a Road Work Construction Zone.
This incident didn't directly involve Construction Workers, but did not harm any of the workers on this section of roadway. This involved three vehicles in a "sandwich" incident caused by the third vehicle not anticipating and obeying posted save speed in that zone.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that ALL vehicles obey posted speed limits in areas of long term construction zones as well as to slow down in temporary work zones with only signs and cones.
Come on folks. Slow it down!
Officer: Drivers bewareBy JOE GORMAN Tribune Chronicle
Construction zone accidents are all too common, the head of the Trumbull Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said in the aftermath of a triple fatality on Interstate 80.
Monday's accident in which an SUV was crushed between two tractor-trailers was unusual in that three people were killed, but the crashes themselves are not uncommon, patrol Lt. Michael Orosz said.
Drivers have to be extra alert for sudden stops when they are in a construction zone, he said.
''Be as cautious as you can be,'' Orosz said. ''Sometimes backups happen very abruptly. You just have to be very careful.''
The eastbound lanes of I-80 were closed for about six hours after the accident, which happened about 1:50 p.m. when a FedEx tractor was stopped in front of a Ford Explorer in the right lane not far from a construction site in which traffic lanes had merged. A third vehicle, a tractor-trailer driven by Eugene R. White, 62, of Shiloh, failed to stop and rammed into the Explorer, pushing it into the FedEx trailer.
The driver of the Explorer, Shirley Gilmore, 66, of Warren, was killed, along with her brother and sister, David Westenfelder, 56, and Wendy Frost, 59, both of Surprise, Ariz.
Gilmore and her husband, Larry, own Larry's Super Pawn in Warren. Westenfelder and Frost were in town to help the Gilmores celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
Employees at the pawn shop declined to comment Tuesday.
Gilmore's daughter is Warren police Capt. Janice Gilmore, a third-generation city police officer. Police Chief Timothy Bowers said he was fielding calls Tuesday from colleagues in law enforcement asking what they can do to help.
''It's a horrible tragedy,'' Bowers said. ''The entire law enforcement community has reached out to her. Anything that we can do for the family, we'll do.
''She always seemed like a sweet person,'' Bowers said of Shirley Gilmore.
Statistics by the Ohio Department of Public Safety show that from 2005 to 2008, 67 people were killed in work zone traffic crashes, with a high of 20 in 2005 and a low of 13 in 2007. Statistics for 2009 have not yet been completed.
Orosz said troopers are investigating and that toxicology tests will be done on White, and his truck also will be examined for any mechanical deficiencies, which is normal in any accident involving a commercial vehicle.
For her part, there was not much Gilmore could have done, Orosz said. Drivers need to be looking in their mirrors for vehicles coming from behind, but there was no place for her to go in the stalled traffic, he said.
There was no special detail to enforce safety regulations at the construction site, but a trooper was working a side job Monday for the construction company, Orosz said. The company was performing resurfacing work and bridge repair on I-80, which goes from Mount Everett Road to the Pennsylvania state line.
Shortly after the crash, the Ohio Department of Transportation detoured vehicles from the site, ODOT District 4 spokesman Justin Chesnic said. However, vehicles caught past an exit ramp were stuck the entire time.
Chesnic said trying to get traffic turned around is often done on a case-by-case basis, and sometimes local emergency management agencies assist, but that was not done Monday.
Monday's accident is the second triple fatality this year in Trumbull County in which a semi was involved.
On March 31, three U.S. Marine recruits were killed at state Route 82 and Burnett Road in Warren Township after a semi driven by Donald Williams of Austintown plowed into the back of the car in which they were traveling.
No charges have been filed yet in the accident that killed Joshua Sherbourne, 21, of Southington, Michael Theodore, 19, of Howland, and Zach Nolen, 19, of Newton Falls, although Trumbull County prosecutors have reviewed the crash report and charges are expected.
The three were heading to Cleveland in a car driven by Marine Sgt. Charles Keene to sign final enlistment papers. Also injured in the accident was Carl McDermott III, 18, of Masury, who suffered two broken bones in his neck.
In that accident, state troopers have said Williams' semi struck the rear of the car carrying the Marines just after a red light changed to green and pushed it through the intersection into the path of several other cars.