Washington DOT Workers Part of Road Rage Incident

May 21, 2024
The transportation agency is now going over protocols for safety

Last week, two contractors were attacked during a road rage incident. Now, the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is going over safety protocols with workers.

According to investigators, a man purposely drove into a construction zone and began fighting with workers before he was shot by a Washington State Patrol Trooper.

Spokesperson Tom Pearce says WSDOT has already had a meeting with contractors to talk about situational awareness. They are also looking at other measures to keep workers safe with the start of construction season underway.

"This is a rare, rare incident," said Pearce.

WSDOT traffic cameras captured the event on Interstate 5 when investigators say two contractors were attacked after a man drove his truck around a construction barrier and started ramming their work truck near Union Slough.

"I’ve worked for WSDOT for 11 years, I have never seen an incident like this where somebody went into a work zone behind a concrete barrier," said Pearce.

According to investigators, the man then got into a physical fight with them, wielding a hammer. After a Washington State Patrol Trooper arrived, he opened fire after the man started fighting with him, killing him. 

Since the attack, Pearce says Atkinson, the contractor's employer, has been providing assistance to the workers.

"We work with our contractors closely on projects like this and I can tell you that Atkinson did have assistance available for their employees, they had a safety stand-down the day after this happened, just to discuss things, make sure people know what to do in various situations," said Pearce. 

WSDOT has been going over safety protocols. According to Pearce, before last week’s road rage incident, that area had already seen its fair share of crashes.

Road workers have a dangerous job. Not only is the threat of dangerous drivers always present, but some people may want to get violent. For more on these behaviors, click here.


Source: Fox 13 Seattle

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