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Schuylkill County News

Slow Down and Pay Attention in Road Work Zones – Not Everyone Gets to Walk Away Like We Did

slow down in construction zones

slow down in construction zones

This morning, The Canary and two much loved passengers were involved in an automobile accident along Route 61 North right outside of Pottsville.

We’re doing OK. Not great, but OK. Surely, we’ll feel it tomorrow morning.

Overall, though, we were lucky.

As you can see from the photo above, our aging Honda Civic did not fair so well. It was mangled and towed from the scene.

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The point of this post is really not to give updates on our conditions, rather it’s to relay a very important message that every motorist should heed.

Slow Down and Pay Attention in Road Work Zones

This collision happened in an active construction work zone on the northbound lanes of the highway. The passing lane at the time of the incident was blocked with cones and everyone was moving along in the driving lane.

We had to stop because (and apologies to the crew if we don’t name the machinery the right way) a paver moved into the driving lane to flatten a patch of the road being repaired in the passing lane.

It was a sudden and pretty unexpected move. But we were traveling a very cautious speed so we saw this move in plenty of time and came to a dead stop until the road work crew member finished what he was doing.

And that’s when it happened.

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An SUV behind us wasn’t paying attention and clearly wasn’t minding any speed restrictions while in the work zone. And, as you can see, they cracked us real good.

While we tried to figure out what the hell just happened in the Canary-mobile, apparently the driver of the paver was also injured when they were hit by the offending motorist behind us. We pray he is OK.

We also hope the driver and passenger in the offending vehicle are OK. They were certainly well enough to try to explain that they hit the brakes but the brakes didn’t engage or some other B-S excuse.

Now, this is pure speculation but … if they were paying attention and respecting the situation of being in an active work zone, this whole incident could have been avoided.

Again, we’re thankful beyond words that it was only limited to minor injuries in this incident. And we’re beyond thankful to the member of the road work crew (and an old friend) who helped calm us down following the collision. A big thank-you is also due to the first responders who rushed to the scene. Schuylkill EMS, Pottsville Fire Dept., and the Pennsylvania State Police acted swiftly and professionally to clear the scene and made sure, first and foremost, that we were OK and insisted we get medical attention if we thought it was necessary.

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Road Work Zone Crashes, Injuries, and Fatalities in Pennsylvania

But not everyone is as lucky as we all were Thursday morning. And that’s the reason, once again, we’re sharing this story from a first-hand perspective.

According to the website of the Edgar Snyder law firm, there were 1,778 work zone crashes in Pennsylvania in 2017 (the most recent data they have posted). In those crashes, 19 people died and another 1,106 were injured. Three of the 19 fatalities were among work zone employees. And most of those crashes happened on State Highways like Route 61.

The data says today’s incident could have been a lot worse. But common sense says it should have never happened.

It’s simple: If you’re behind the wheel and entering an active work zone, slow down and pay attention.


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  1. Edward B Connolly

    August 27, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    I am grateful to God that you and your two passengers, together with the other persons involved —— are alive and well. If not “well”, at least “well enough, all things considered”.
    Canary Lives Matter!

    • Canary Commenter

      August 27, 2020 at 5:37 pm

      We were very fortunate. Thank you very much for the kind words.

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