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Michigan Student Puts Human Face on Work Zone Safety Issue

Wed June 27, 2001 - Southeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Almost 900 people were killed and 37,000 were injured during 1999 in roadway construction zone accidents. A Michigan student came to Washington, D.C., recently to put a human face on this public safety problem.

“I am here in the Nation’s Capital because my dad was killed in an accident that could have been prevented,” said Daniel Doyle, a student at Lake Superior State University in Sault Saint Marie, MI. “I would gladly trade innumerable trips to Washington — or anywhere in the world — in exchange for having him back.”

Doyle’s father was an employee of the Michigan Department of Transportation when he was killed while working on a bridge project in August 1997.

“My dad’s death shows the dangerous nature of road work. He was performing a great service that often goes unnoticed by the public. He worked hard to improve the roads and bridges for the residents of Michigan,” Doyle said. “I’m proud to represent the heroes in the roadway construction industry who have fallen in the line of duty. I just want to do my part to see that someone else does not lose their father, mother, brother, or sister.”

As part of National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, Doyle joined U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta and other safety leaders at a ceremony on the Washington, D.C., National Mall, to commemorate and draw attention to those killed in roadway construction zones. The event included a display of 868 orange highway cones, each draped with a black ribbon and representing highway construction workers and motorists killed during 1999.

Doyle is one of the first recipients of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Highway Worker Memorial Scholarship program. It provides college financial assistance to the children of highway workers killed or permanently disabled on the job.

Initiated in 1999, the program is supported by contributions from highway construction industry firms, labor groups and individuals nationwide. It was started by two Roanoke, VA, highway construction executives — Stan Lanford, president of the Lanford Brothers Co., and his brother, Jack, president of Adams Construction Co.

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