Two construction workers killed on I-69

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Two highway construction workers were killed Friday morning when a pickup truck crashed into them on southbound Interstate 69, Indiana State Police officials said.

The crash was between 82nd and 96th streets. ISP officials said the pickup driver was trapped inside the vehicle after the crash. The driver was taken to St. Vincent Hospital with minor injuries. He’s been identified as 22-year-old Jordan Stafford of Fortville. ISP officials have confirmed that blood sample was taken from Stafford and will be used as part of the investigation, although they do not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Note: The mug shot of Stafford is from a previous arrest in 2012.

Nathan Riggs, Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman, said the workers who were killed were contractors, not INDOT employees. Indiana State Police identified the men as 49-year-old Kenneth Duerson Jr. of Indianapolis and 24-year-old Coty Demoss of Noblesville. They worked for Rieth-Riley Construction and were two minutes from the end of their shift.

Riggs said they were cleaning up their work zone to open up a southbound lane for the morning commute.

“It’s going to be a tough day for a lot of workers, a lot of families,” Riggs said. “Something like this kind of reverberates through the entire industry.”

Riggs urged general work zone safety, reminding drivers to put down cell phones and avoid adjusting the radio while driving through a construction zone.

“It’s imperative that you just pay attention,” Riggs said, adding drivers who are distracted in construction zones also put their own lives at risk.

Traffic was backed up in the area during the morning, but all lanes have since reopened.

Rieth-Riley released the following statement Friday morning:

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Rieth-Riley employees and family members involved in this terrible tragedy.  Safety of our employees is our number one priority.

Gov. Mike Pence released the following statement Friday morning:

We extend our sincere condolences to the families of the two construction workers killed today in the I-69 accident. This tragedy reminds us that we must slow down and pay close attention in highway construction work zones. Hoosiers must work together to reduce the number of accidents in highway work zones and protect Indiana’s workers.

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