The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) is inviting the public to join us in a candlelight vigil to honor the 58 WVDOH highway workers who have died in the line of duty. The vigil is scheduled for 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at the Fallen Worker Memorial, located at the Interstate 77 welcome center in Williamstown.
“We’re absolutely serious about zero fatalities in our work zones,” said state Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston, P.E. “Not one more life.”
As WVDOH embarks on a massive new construction season, Wriston has vowed to do everything within his power to bring the number of work zone safety deaths in the Mountain State to zero.
In 2022, there were 800 crashes in West Virginia work zones, killing eight people and injuring 276. Almost all were avoidable. The WVDOH urges drivers to remain alert when passing through work zones, pay attention to signs and other safety devices, and stay off cell phones.
“We’re going to use every tool at our disposal,” Wriston said. “We’re going to use technology. We’re going to use law enforcement. We’re going to use safety devices.” Wriston is also reaching out to state media to get the word out about safety in work zones.
On Monday, April 17, 2023, Gov. Jim Justice unveiled an 18-inch miniature version of the Fallen Worker Memorial. These smaller statues will be placed in West Virginia’s other seven welcome centers as a monument to fallen workers and a reminder of the importance of safe driving through work zones.
Wriston said it’s everyone’s job to reduce work zone accidents.
“Our citizens, our drivers, our roadway users are just as responsible as we are,” Wriston said. “We need to give them every possible way to be able to follow these rules. We need to give them clear directions through these work zones. We can do that and we’re going to.”