State DOTs Hold Memorial Events for Fallen Workers

Many state departments of transportation across the country held memorial services to honor employees who lost their lives on the job in roadway work zones and other infrastructure construction efforts.

[Above photo by Mississippi DOT]

On April 16, the Mississippi Department of Transportation hosted a ceremony at its Fallen Workers Memorial – located at the agency’s headquarters in Jackson – that brought together families to pay tribute to their loved ones who tragically lost their lives in the line of duty. There are 49 names of fallen Mississippi DOT workers on the monument, and officials took this opportunity to remind the public that it’s up everyone to eliminate work zone fatalities and ensure no more names are added.

“Each loss we have endured together is a tragic reminder of the dangers of working along highways,” said Jeff Ely, the agency’s chief of staff in a statement. “Let’s not only remember their sacrifices, but also reflect on the importance of their work.”

The Colorado Department of Transportation held its annual observance of Remembrance Day on April 18, honoring the 62 employees who have died in the line of duty since 1929.

“Remembrance Day not only honors our fallen colleagues, it also serves as an important reminder to those traveling the state’s roadways to make safety their first priority,” said Shoshana Lew, Colorado DOT’s executive director, in a statement.

“With the road construction season upon us, it’s imperative that those who are constructing and maintaining our highways remain safe while they work,” she added. “Please remember that a person’s life is priceless, a traffic slowdown is a minor inconvenience.”
On April 17, Governor Greg Gianforte (R) joined the Montana Department of Transportation to honor agency employees who lost their lives on the job at a memorial ceremony held at the agency’s headquarters in Helena.

“It is an honor to recognize this tribute to the men and women who have passed away while doing this noble job,” the governor noted in a statement.

“No words can fully cover the pain and sacrifice of the families of those recognized through this memorial but let us take this as an opportunity to come together in sorrow and lift them up,” he added.

During Montana DOT’s ceremony, Melissa Dykeman – who tragically lost her husband, Jeff, in a work zone crash in 2018 – emphasized the cost to the families whose loved ones died in roadway construction zones.

“Our lives will forever be affected. We will always have an empty seat at our table for Jeff,” she said. “You have a choice. Please don’t choose to do drugs or drink alcohol and get behind the wheel.”

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