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TxDOT work zone deaths on the rise

Posted at 6:28 PM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 19:28:51-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The heart of construction season is approaching and as always, safety is on the minds of Texas Department of Transportation workers.

TxDOT has released their statistics from 2021. They found it was one of the most dangerous years within work zones.

244 people died within a construction work zone in Texas, an increase of 33 percent from 2020.

A crew along U.S. Highway 44 was working to repair a roadway on Wednesday.

Workers there said you need to have a sharp mind while working within one of the zones.

“Fast pace, a lot of moving equipment, a lot of moving personnel," Jonathan Murphy said, maintenance crew chief 1. "These operations, there’s a lot of moving around on these. There’s a lot of moving equipment, mainly.”

“Concentrate on the work and making sure everybody’s safely working and looking out for my fellow workers,” said Chris Truax, maintenance tech 1.

In Corpus Christi, there were 767 crashes in work zones, seven fatalities and 21 people seriously injured. That was the bulk of the work zone crashes for all of Nueces County.

Throughout TxDOT's Corpus Christi District that includes a 10 county area, there were 982 crashes in work zones, eight deaths and 26 serious injuries.

Throughout April, TxDOT’s "Be Safe, Drive Smart" campaign has tried to educated drivers on this reality.

In the big picture, construction crews are there for the public’s safety, creating safer roadways. They only ask for one thing in return: slow down in work zones.

“Of course, the safety of our people and also the traveling public. Just want to make sure everyone is safe while we’re working,” said Murphy.

“Everybody is more paying attention to the radio or got their phone in their hand and that’s a distraction," Truax said. "That distraction can cause one of us not to go home or one of them not to go home.”

TxDOT officials said last years deaths on the roadway reached a high that hasn’t been seen in 40 years. It was the second deadliest year, when 4,480 people died on Texas roadways in 2021.

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