Although the accidents occurred in the Baltimore-Washington area, the scenarios could just as easily happen in New York City. Construction accidents can involve both road construction workers and highway maintenance workers.
The Washington D.C. accident occurred on the Suitland Parkway. A driver heading east on the parkway hit a parked vehicle with a trailer attached. The trailer spun, hitting a 34-year-old construction worker who had been standing nearby. The man lived in Alexandria.
The vehicle, a BMW SUV, was driven by a woman who was treated and released at a nearby hospital. It was not known why she hit the parked vehicle with the trailer.
Another fatal accident occurred on I-695 in suburban Baltimore. The victim, a 54-year old member of a tree-clearing crew, was standing on the shoulder when a pickup truck hit him. The victim was a sub-contractor with the Maryland State Highway Administration. As with the accident in Washington, D.C., it is not known why the driver swerved and hit the worker.
Five Maryland state highway workers have been killed in the past year. Despite this, according to federal statistics, only .06 percent of all fatal work zone and road construction accidents nationwide result in fatalities. In 2012, there were six work zone fatalities in Maryland.
In New York State in the same year, there were 16 work zone fatalities.
Sources: National Work Zone Safety Information Clearing House, “Fatalities in Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes by State and Work Zone (2012)” Nov. 25, 2013; NBC Washington, “Construction Worker Dies After Being Pinned Between Vehicles,” Jan. 16, 2014; Daily Journal, “Worker killed when SUV crashes into work zone on Suitland Parkway in DC,” Jan. 16, 2014.