According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois ranks among the top five states total number of roadway work zone fatal occupational injuries. Road construction accidents where motorists strike construction workers are not rare. They accounted for 7.9 percent of all construction deaths from 2003 to 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On average, more than 100 construction workers are killed per year in roadway work zone accidents.
Last Friday, prosecutors charged the Southern Illinois man who drove his Honda into a road striking machine on I-64, killing a 38-year-old construction worker. The car accident occurred at roughly 9:30 a.m. on May 22nd and left the driver and three other construction workers seriously injured. According to prosecutors, the man had taken Ambien, a sleep aid, as well as a sedative and an antihistamine and was impaired at the time of the fatal accident. He has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence.
The witness accounts provided to Illinois police indicate that the 34-year-old driver seemed confused after the crash and that he was driving erratically before striking the road-striping machine. Impaired driving does not always involve alcohol. Even prescription and over the counter drugs can cause a driver to be too impaired to drive.
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Illinois man charged in St. Clair County crash that killed construction worker,” by Joel Currier, 14 September 2012