Stuarts Draft Rescue Squad says VDOT worker is out of the ICU and doing better
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — A Virginia Department of Transportation worker was struck while helping a disabled motorist during last week’s snowstorm.
The VDOT worker, who has been identified as Mathew Fitzgerald, was on Interstate 64 at the time of the accident when Jerzy Czubak lost control of his tractor-trailer and slid into the shoulder, hitting Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald is a member of the Stuarts Draft Rescue Squad in Augusta County. Squad officials said Fitzgerald is now out of the ICU and doing better.
Logan Parker, the deputy chief for the Stuarts Draft Rescue Squad, said incidents like this are why it is so important to move accordingly when safety crews are out.
“It might not just be our EMS, emergency vehicles, VDOT, could just be someone with their flashers on and even then you should still get over. I think with all those factors it gets more and more dangerous,” he explained.
Parker said that being conscious of work crews does not only apply to the interstate.
“The back roads and the primary roads through towns - like Route 240, 250, especially 340, going up through like Grottoes, Waynesboro area, horrible roads - you treat them the same way as the interstate,” Parker explained.
Virginia State Police said this was not specifically a Move Over Law issue. “The tractor-trailer had moved over a lane. He was going too fast for conditions, lost control and the trailer swung out,” a VSP representative explained via email.
According to VDOT’s website, Virginia’s Move Over Law (§ 46.2-921.1) states that “upon approaching a stationary vehicle that is displaying a flashing, blinking or alternating blue, red or amber light or lights,” drivers shall:
- “On a highway having at least four lanes, at least two of which are intended for traffic proceeding as the approaching vehicle, proceed with caution and, if reasonable, with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, yield the right of way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the stationary vehicle or,
- “If changing lanes would be unreasonable or unsafe, proceed with due caution and maintain a safe speed for highway conditions.”
A single violation of the “Move Over” law is punishable as a traffic infraction. Subsequent violations may be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
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