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4-24-2012 Killed workers remembered during National Work Zone Safety Week

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Published on Jun 11, 2012

ORANGE - By Megan Dillard - Every year in Texas, thousands of people are hurt and dozens are killed in highway construction work zones. Every April during National Work Zone Awareness Week, the Texas Department of Transportation calls attention to the danger."It'll never get easy. Never."Every day, Patty McNeil struggles to move on."He was a lot of our lives, it all revolved around him. There's no way it'll ever get easier."Once a year, Patty and her daughter Amy speak during National Work Zone Awareness Week.Every day, Patty's husband Jeff put on a hard hat for his job with the Texas Department of Transportation.He was killed in July 2005 on the side of Highway 69 in Beaumont."There shouldn't be any work zones that surprise people."TXDOT engineer Tucker Ferguson says the state clearly marks work zones."Road closed, or lanes closed, signs for miles ahead, flashing arrow boards, changeable message signs, strobe lights on all of our vehicles, so it's very evident that you're entering a work zone. We just ask people to heed those warnings and slow down when you pull through."State troopers and TXDOT employees joined the McNeils at the Travel Information Center Tuesday morning near the state line.TXDOT employee Todd Dinger says, "We see a lot of inattentive drivers, not paying attention, reaching to get something, looking down at a cell phone, we see a lot of people just not paying attention to us and what's ahead of them."Road workers dressed in protective gear also stood side by side to plead with the public."I have a wife and two boys, and they're very important to me, so yes it's important for me to get home to them."And to remember those that didn't complete the journey."They want to rush life. Life is a precious thing and you don't want to rush it. You want to hang onto it for as long as you can, because you never know when it'll happen. Never."Fines can double for drivers caught speeding in a work zone.

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