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Community Safety

MODOT Workers Killed on the Job Honored at Ceremony

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Credit Michele Skalicky / KSMU
MODOT Memorial Ceremony

The Missouri Department of Transportation honored its fallen workers this week.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more.

Outside MODOT’s Southwest District Office Thursday were 22 orange construction cones, each wearing a yellow construction vest and hard hat, and each representing a MODOT worker from the district killed while on the job.

MODOT district engineer Becky Baltz said this “Day of Remembrance” is held every year at MODOT offices across the state.

"We want to make sure and remember each and every one of them.  It also gives us an opportunity to talk about how important safety is in the jobs we do because we just have a dangerous workplace especially for our employees who work out on the roadways," she said.

She said 22 people from the southwest district have lost their lives in the line of duty.  Across the state, 131 MODOT workers have died on the job.

As Baltz read the 22 names,MODOT employees placed plaques in front of the cones.

Baltz said drivers can help prevent future deaths of MODOT workers by paying attention and slowing down in work zones.

"Our employees tell me all the time one of their biggest fears is distracted driving because they see people come through their work zones all the time, and they're not looking up, they're looking down," she said.

She said it only takes a moment of not paying attention for a life to be lost.

After all the plaques were in place, members of the Central High School Kilties played Amazing Grace on their bagpipes.