ODOT, widow urge drivers to pay attention in work zones
BY JARREL WADE World Staff Writer
Monday, April 23, 2012
State transportation officials and the family of a worker killed on the job last year made an emotional plea for safe driving in work zones Monday morning.
Officials said 2011 was the worst year in a decade for injury collisions.
Lisa Henderson, the widow of Oklahoma Department of Transportation worker Ira Henderson, asked drivers to simply avoid driving if they are impaired or in a hurry.
“Ira never had a chance to see the car coming or get out of its way,” she said. “I never thought my life would change in an instant.”
Ira Henderson, 42, of Bartlesville died Nov. 30 after being struck by a vehicle in a work zone on U.S. 75 near Ramona.
Ira Henderson’s mother, father and several co-workers joined his widow at a press conference in a work zone on Interstate 44 westbound lanes near Peoria Avenue.
The Henderson family all wore black shirts with Ira Henderson’s face printed over their hearts and his birth and death date on their backs.
The event began National Work Zone Awareness Week with the motto “Don’t barrel through work zones. Drive smart to arrive alive.”
In 2011, 13 people were killed in Oklahoma highway work zones including Henderson and ODOT inspector Terry Club, who died in Oklahoma City in June, officials said.
Additionally, 789 people were injured in 1,427 collisions in 2011.
Read more in Tuesday's Tulsa World.
Washington County Oklahoma Department of Transportation Supervisor Brian Sutton talks with Lisa Henderson following a press conference to announce National Work Zone Awareness Week on an unfinished portion of I-44 east of Peoria Monday. Lisa Henderson's husband and Sutton's co-worker Ira Henderson was killed whild on the job with ODOT when a motorist struck Henderson. CHRISTOPHER SMITH/ Tulsa World
Randle White, ODOT Division 8 ENgineer presenst Lisa Henderson with a special commemoration by Governor Mary Fallin in honor of her husband Ira Henderson, an ODOT worker who was killed by a motorist while on the job during a press conference to announce National Work Zone Awareness Week on an unfinished portion of I-44 east of Peoria Monday. With Lisa Henderson are Ira's parents Pat and Rico Razo. CHRISTOPHER SMITH/ Tulsa World