Construction Site Fails To Reroute Pedestrians Causing Two Fatalities

    Roadway Construction ExpertThis case involves two 8-year-old girls who were struck by a dump truck in the crosswalk near their elementary school. Several hours after the school day ended, the girls were riding scooters on the sidewalk. At the time, half of the street was blocked off for curb reconstruction. However, there were no signs blocking or redirecting pedestrian traffic. As the girls entered the crosswalk, the dump truck turned onto the blocked off street. One of the girls was killed instantly and the other suffered critical injuries and was left in a permanent vegetative state. It was alleged that the temporary traffic control plan for the construction site was negligent in failing to reroute pedestrians out of the area. An expert in roadside construction was sought to opine on the proper protocols for managing pedestrian traffic when construction is being performed in a residential area to prevent these types of incidents.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please describe your experience managing road construction in residential areas.
    • 2. What are the requirements to ensure pedestrian safety?
    • 3. What types of protocols should be in place to direct pedestrian traffic in and around construction sites?

    Expert Witness Response E-111197

    I have 25+ years of experience working on roadway construction projects as a highway superintendent in charge of roadway safety, teaching construction work zone safety for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and investigating public right-of-way accidents.The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices is the document issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT). The manual is used by state and local agencies as well as private construction firms to ensure that the traffic control devices they use conform to the national standard. Part 6A, 02 of the manual sets forth requirements for temporary traffic control for all road users including pedestrians. In this case, there should have been a traffic control plan (compliant with the MUTCD) in place prior to the commencement of the project, which would have included pedestrians. I have previously worked on cases involving pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries due to negligent temporary traffic control.

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